Author has written 20 stories for Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, and Wizards of Waverly Place.
Member of the #FanfictionDeepState
Just a couple of basics. I'm Nonbinary, but too old and cynical to care about pronouns for myself--I answer to them all. I was born in the UK decades ago and grew up a bit in London and Poole before moving to the US with my parents. So in my writing, I shift relatively easily between an English dialect and an American one--occasionally unintentionally.
Though my preferences lean towards sci fi/fantasy, action/adventure, anime/cartoons and comic book superheroes, I am a sucker for stories with a strong emotional core and romance. Most of my own fics (even my smutfics which are only available off-site) are driven as much by love as they are by magical adventurism. The sex and violence in my stories is toned down a bit for this site and suitably written for teens. Mostly PG-13/TV-14 but veering into R/M territory occasionally--with the "worst" being no worse than anything you can find on Cable TV. Also, my stories often feature LGBTQ characters and themes.
That last part is worth noting, if you, like me, hate that JK Rowling has turned into Lucius Malfoy (a narcissistic bigoted billionaire Karen). If you're LGBTQ, or even if you're not and just enjoy Fem!Harry or "genderbending" Harry[et] stories and shipping Wolfstar--that sort of thing--and despise JK Rowling, but still like Harry Potter, then this is one of the places to be. If you want to read Nonbinary [genderfluid!Metamorphmagus!]Harry[et] Potter fics, I recommend my stories, Moments in Love (completed) and The Institute (a short story with potential future installments). Pretty much all of my long Harry Potter fics feature Wolfstar to one degree or another, and other LGBTQ ships too.
June 26, 2020 - I wish I didn't have to do this, but after getting a Flame from a Ron/Hermione shipper, l just thought I should put this right up front for any other Romione shippers who think it's okay to Flame Harmony shippers.
I know that most Romione shippers are cool, because most of my online friends (and offline friends, too, for that matter) accept Ron/Hermione and don't really agree with me about Harry/Herrmione, but they are secure enough in their views that they aren't bothered by Harry/Hermione shipping.
So this message is to that minority of Romione shippers who hate Harry/Hermione shipping so much, that they harass Harmony shippers:
Don't read Harry/Hermione shipping stories if you don't like them. P*-off and leave the rest of us alone to enjoy Harry/Hermione shipping in peace.
Site administrators, in their infinite wisdom :P , have deleted Hermione's Furry Little Problem--a largely Satirical story featuring consenting teens in loving relationships with each other. It was my single attempt to post a smutfic here.
Never mind that you can find numerous Sexually Explicit and Graphically Violent Harry Potter stories here with rape, sex between adults and minors, forced marriage contracts, torture, slavery, murder, etc... which have been up for a long, long time here (which is fine with me, as a believer in Free Speech).
Anyway, I've got it up at Archive Of Our Own (AO3) for those who wish to continue following the story. My handle there is Gandalfs_Beard. Just copy and paste the URL below to your browser for Hermione's Furry Little Problem. Be sure to remove the spaces.
h t t p : // archiveofourown . org / works / 2062614 / chapters / 4483347
This story is also available at adult-fanfiction . org, and hpfanficharchive (where it is currently a featured story).
Being British, I'm not usually one to toot my own horn, but due to the emergence of a couple more recent "Neko"!Hermione stories, I would like to point out that though I am not the first fanfic author to tackle catgirl!Hermione, Hermione's Furry Little Problem is the ORIGINAL "Neko" i.e. Catgirl!Hermione / Metamorphmagus!Gender-bending!Harry Multiple Partners story.
HFLP has since become somewhat notorious on the internet, and is featured on top 10 (-ish) lists on several online magazines including Ranker, Break, Mic, and recently International Business Times. And it is also the subject of a hilarious "dramatic reading" video on YT, in which one of the sex scenes is mercilessly mocked...
I am posting more explicit, Lemony versions of some chapters of Moments in Love at AO3 (Archive of Our Own). For access to these chapters, copy and paste the URL below into your browser. Don't forget to remove the spaces.
h t t p : // archiveofourown . org / works / 5204972 / chapters / 11997152
More explicit versions of some chapters of Damaged Bridges are now available at AO3 (consensual acts only - no non-con will be depicted):
h t t p : // archiveofourown . org / works / 11834394 / chapters / 26711121
More explicit versions of some chapters of Yuletide Blessings in Disguise are now available at AO3:
h t t p s : // archiveofourown . org / works / 14097777 / chapters / 32482047
Explicit one-shot,The Wolf and the Hound--a very pervy satire now available at AO3. It's a ridiculous, jokey, over-the-top, smutty one-shot that's even more tawdry in some respects than Hermione's Furry Little Problem. If that's not your cup of tea, do not read. Warnings and tags on-site:
h t t p s : // archiveofourown . org/works/18382811/43531478
For some reason, certain Guests (you know who you are) to this site think that they have the right to tell me what to publish. Guests have no rights here if they're Trolls. If anyone wants to write a Troll Review to a story, don't be a coward. Sign up for an account so I can talk to you about your issues.
Examples of Troll Reviews:
1) Calling me Furfag because catgirl!Hermione offends your delicate sensibilities.
2) Spamming my stories hundreds of times with idiotic rubbish about how brilliant and kind Ron is and how Hermione was the bully. Go read a stupid Ron loving, Hermione bashing story if that's what floats your boat and leave mine alone.
I am not an Ogre. I don't flame people, but I'm not going to be a doormat either. Guest reviews which are not actually reviews will no longer be tolerated by me. To be clear, I am fine with Guest Reviews, and even negative Guest Reviews if they're about legitimate story issues.
Memo to Tolkien Fans: Though the vast majority of stories I have posted here are set in Potterverse, I have a fic here you may be interested in reading.
The Adventures of Bilbo and Tauriel was originally written back in 2009--before the Hobbit films had even been cast or written--for a challenge on a fan-based Hobbit forum for which I was the chief moderator (the challenge was with another frustrated writer to see if either of us could actually FINISH a story and beat the "Chapter One Blues"... :D Heheh! I won).
This fic is nearly entirely compliant to the Hobbit and Lord of the Ring BOOKS--except for the addition of Tauriel, one original character as the villain, the epilogue, and a couple of Easter Egg allusions to the films (virtual cookies for those who spot them ;-) ).
At that point, Tauriel's character was being floated by Peter Jackson as being named Itaril. And so this story was first published as The Adventure's of Bilbo and Itaril. When the first Hobbit movie opened up a couple of years ago, I edited it to reflect the name change. Though otherwise this fic is exactly the same as when I first wrote it. I think it's pretty well cleaned up, but if you spot an "Itaril" please let me know so I can change it to Tauriel.
1) Duh... LoTR/Hobbit --Anything Tolkien. Though I have to admit, I don't read a whole lot of Tolkien-verse fanfic. Not really sure why. Every once in a while a story will grab my fancy though.
I'm a huge fan of Peter Jackson's fanfic additions to the Hobbit-verse. They make sense. If I was making the films, they would be very similar to Jackson's.
In fact, years ago now, I was chief mod at a site/forum which had been following Hobbit movie news since 2008--years before PJ even got the green-light from the production companies. I posted a lot of ideas which I thought would be great for The Hobbit movies if they actually got the go-ahead. Nearly every single one made it into the film.
At least half of them were direction and production ideas for The Hobbit, but in terms of additions to the story, or expansions of existing un-followed-through references in the original book (and the appendices of LotR), some of my ideas were:
Gandalf's Adventure - check
White Council - check
Dol Goldur - check
Necromancer - check
Radagast - check
Legolas - check
Hot Elvish Warrior Princess - check
Production idea: Pre-opening-credit roll with Smaug destroying Erebor and Lake Town - check
Production idea: Cast Alan Rickman as Smaug - came so bloody close on this one. Benedict Cumberbatch got the role, and his vocal delivery does have some similarities to Rickman's.
2) Chronicles of Narnia --Again, I tend to not read very many of the fanfics I browse through, but occasionally one captures my attention.
3) Harry Potter --I read a ton of HP fanfic. Even the crap ones are often hilariously entertaining. In terms of what I like to read online, the Harry Potter franchise has been #1 on my list for years now.
4) Wizards of Waverly Place --Selena Gomez as a Wizard = Total Awesomeness. Alex Russo was MADE for Potterverse. There are not enough WoWP fanfic and Potterverse crossovers online people!!! :P We need more!!!
Right. Well there are a whole lot of franchises I adore but I don't have enough time to read every fandom online, so I tend to focus on the above. There are some fandoms I am not thrilled with, but I think fandom wars are stupid, so I'll leave it at that. :P
Some of my Fave Harry Potter (Harmony) fanfic writers: Obviously you can look at the lists at the bottom of my profile for a complete list of fave writers and stories. A lot of them aren't necessarily the best written, but they all have some redeeming features which I really enjoyed. What follows here are at the top of the list for one reason or another, in no particular order:
Proganthony: for Memories of Love. Solid characterisations and an all around well-written story.
Mr Norrell: for Sympathetic Properties. Great premise, good characterisation, and fun execution.
Merlynthegrey: Great characterisations, very close to canon, and a very good writer overall.
Lorelover: for Always and Forever. Strong near canon characterisations, and another good writer
Philosophize: Great Fem!Harry stories.
Erbkaiser: One of the funniest writers of short humour fics on this site bar none. Great satirist.
Cloneserpents: Just because Harry Potter and the Sword of Gryffindor is quite possibly the funniest novel length piece of satire.
EJ Daniels: Strong characterisations, well written stories.
Vance McGill (aka FurySerenity at AO3): If you like your Harmony stories with a strong dose of bashing and fanon tropes, he's got some of the best in the genre. (That includes his story Harry Potter: Neko's Mate, which was loosely inspired by Hermione's Furry Little Problem. So if you're looking for a smutty catgirl!Hermione/metamorphmagus!gender-bending!Harry multiple partners story featuring Lordships, Inheritances, Betrothal Contracts, Evil!Dumbledore, etc... he's your guy).
Robst: Because it's Robst! Enough said!
Herman Tumblewood: Another great humourist.
AngelaStarCat: Because of Blindness, a very unique take on Harry Potter, and very well written.
James Spookie: To be honest, his most well-known story, What We're Fighting For, is probably my favourite, or at least in my top 3 Harry/Hermione fics.
Things NOT to do if you have a Blog or Website dedicated to Critiquing Potterverse Fanfiction:
Do not have a silly (but entertaining) rating system which WILL offend other authors (yes--calling other author's stories "toxic" IS clearly intended as mockery and insult--even though I might agree that some stories are indeed "toxic"), then tell commenters on your site to express their opinions in a manner which won't offend other authors. :P
Especially after you have just TOTALLY ignored nearly an entire post in which I clearly stated that I NEVER flame authors!!! :P
In other words, don't be a bloody hypocrite who has trouble with reading comprehension! :P
Also, beta and edit your own critiques better. It's hard to take literary criticism seriously when you have a mess of dreadful typos and obvious misspellings.
Finally, if you can't handle disagreement without resorting to outright rudeness, and banishing dissenting opinions, then you have lost whatever modicum of credibility you might have had altogether.
On Alliteration: I'm a fan. Like any literary technique, it's a tool which can be used poorly or well, and like any other it should only be used in moderation (if in doubt, don't bother to use it at all. Confidence in your prose is a must). The degree to which I use it depends on the context of the genre. It works in poetic passages and humorous ones, and it can create very striking sentences. But overdone, it is just more Purple Prose. ;) :P
However, as there is no adequate way to respond to Trollish feedback from Guest Reviewers on this site, I will delete Troll Reviews from Guests. I welcome healthy debate, and I do not mind having robust discussions. But I do not like to clutter up the stories I post with responses to guest reviewers, other than to explain things which I agree might be unclear, or to cop to a mistake on my part.
I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretations of the books, but if you wish to disagree with me about my interpretations of the characters, and my deconstructions of the original author's material, get an account on this site so that we can discuss it rationally in chat.
Troll Review example: If you say Trollish things like: "I'd just like to say your interpretations of the characters and the books as a whole is so warped that I feel somewhat worried for you." ...or... "You can probably tell that I didn't get very far beyond your opening note." ... then you can be certain that I will delete your review and give it no credence whatsoever.
If you're not going to bother to even read my fic, that's alright, just read one you like better. Goodness knows, there are many, many fics here I don't bother to read for one reason or another. But there really is no need to be a Troll about it! :P
On My Critiques of Your Fanfic: I ONLY review stories which I like something about. If I don't like a story, I just don't read it. If I offer a negative opinion about one aspect of your fic, it means I LIKE other aspects of your fic and thought it worth sharing a constructive critique. I do not condone flaming authors for any reason.
On Canon vs AU: I'm a canon nerd (most of the time). I always try to hew as closely to canon as I can in my fanfics, even when the events diverge from the original.
In the end, no matter how much events slide into AU territory, I feel that the canonical integrity of the characters is what anchors a story--especially an AU one. If characters diverge from their originals significantly--even in AU--it becomes problematic, and there really needs to be a damn good explanation for it.
On Potterfic Tropes:
Magical Cores: Totally NOT CANON... It's a VIDEOGAME concept which drives me insane and makes no sense--even in AU's because it undermines the fic as being a credible alternative to canon. And I may stop reading a fic if this is dwelled on overmuch unless a fic has otherwise redeeming qualities. Though, as always, it's your fic, write whatever you want...
Lordship-fics: It is stated a number of times in canon that Voldemort took the title "Lord" for himself and that it is NOT a wizarding title. There is no such thing as Lord Malfoy, Lord Black, Lord Potter etc. in canon.
I get that in AU, people can write whatever they want, but when you use the title "Lord," it undermines the plausibility of the fic as being part of canonverse or near-canonverse. If you MUST write an Inheritance fic in which Harry gains a title, and the Heads of Houses have titles, then the most plausible title for male Heads of House is Warlock--as in Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot; a canon title. And Witches in positions of Authority are called Madam in canon--so it seems most credible that Females with a title would simply be called Madam... NOT "Lady."
House-Elf "Bonding" - i.e. they need to bond to a wizard to live or for magic: This one actually pisses me off to no end. Folks, Canon is bloody clear - House-Elves are Magically ENSLAVED!!! They are SLAVES!!! There is NO "Magical Symbiosis" between House-Elves and wizards! House-Elves may enjoy working, but they didn't necessarily always like their "Masters." Hermione was RIGHT to want to give them the freedom to choose who to work for!
Again, for me, this is just a matter of maintaining some sort of plausibility in terms of convincing ME that your fic takes place in the same or similar 'verse. Write whatever you want to write...
On Britishisms: Folks, Harry Potter is set in BRITAIN. Your Britishisms don't have to be perfect, but at least get the basics right: It's MUM, not Mom, and it's ARSE, not Ass. Please work on this... For folks in Britain and countries that are still part of the Commonwealth, it's very distracting to read Mom, and Ass, and takes us right out of the story.
On Alternate Romantic/Sexual Pairings: Some require more work than others. In my opinion, Dramione, Drarry, Snamione, and Snarry are utterly implausible within canon or near-canon characterisations (goes for Romione too in my current views) and must necessarily be OoC for the pairing to work.
I mean Dramione - seriously??? The little Hitler Youth dude with Homicidal Tendencies who hoped that Hermione would be murdered by a Basilisk, called her Mudblood at every opportunity, and who stomped on Harry's face than went on a murderous rampage in HBP (which was thankfully unsuccessful)? You want to put THAT guy with Hermione - the wizard world's equivalent of a Jewish girl??? It doesn't make any sense, and is kind of gross! There is no way in hell that canon Hermione would fall for Draco - or Draco for Hermione either!
But what the hell. It's a Merry Multiverse. If think you can make it work in your fic, go for it. I'm just another random opinion-spewer, and as I say below, everyone is welcome to their own fantasies. There's room for all of us in the fandom!
On Draco Malfoy: Beyond the obvious fact that Tom Felton is a hottie, I don't really get all the Draco love. Draco is straight up Hitler Youth. A vile, cowardly, bullying, racist, with homicidal tendencies, and with almost no indication in the books that he is in fact redeemable (despite what Rowling claims after the fact on Pottermore, which somewhat contradicts other statements that she has made regarding Draco--but then consistency has never been one of Rowling's strong suits). In my ever so humble opinion (haha!), it's a real stretch and grasping at straws to point to Draco's one, single, vaguely not evil act in the entire series (appearing to be vaguely conflicted when he identifies the trio when they're captured at Malfoy Manor. It's more likely that he's just hopeful that they might rescue him from Voldy if they escape) and point to it as a sign that he's redeemable.
"But wait," you say, "What about not killing Dumbledore?"
Well, Draco's just spent an entire year trying to assassinate Dumbledore from afar, and in the process nearly murdering Katie Bell and Ron Weasley (and barely missing Slughorn). But in keeping with Draco's cowardly nature, when he has to kill his victim while looking him in the eye, he can't do it. Draco doesn't really have an issue with other people doing his dirty work for him, or attacking someone when they're not looking (as Draco does when Harry's back is turned in GoF). Draco would have been perfectly happy in second year if the basilisk had killed Hermione and Harry.
"But... but... the Final Battle...?" you sputter. You mean the Final Battle in which Draco tries to attack Harry just to get his wand back? The Final Battle in which Draco reverts to his cowardly, evil form and plays both sides just to save his own skin no matter who wins (thus proving that he is beyond redemption)? Yeah... thought so!
Well anyway, who am I to stomp on other people's fantasies? Goodness knows I have plenty of my own. By all means, continue to enjoy yourself some Hot!Draco lovin'... ;)
On Slytherin House: It would be a mistake to assume that all Slytherins are evil, or that they are all racist scum. And as we know, characters with racist tendencies, poor judgment, and ill-intent can be found in all Hogwarts Houses. Peter Pettigrew is a perfect example of a Gryffindor gone Dark! And we know that Slytherin Horace Slughorn is actually a decent guy at heart, and that Snape and Regulus Black have some redeeming qualities and eventually switched sides (though frankly, despite Snape changing sides, it's clear that he's still a grade A douchebag, a bitter, petulant, childish, vindictive man who has no business teaching children).
It's a shame that Rowling couldn't see fit to depict a couple more Slytherin characters who were "good guys" - students during Harry's time at Hogwarts - and have them ally with Harry and friends.
But having said that, there's a reason that Slytherin House has a worse reputation than the other Houses. It was founded by Salazar Slytherin with the STRICT INTENT of ONLY serving the Purest of Blood... No Muggleborns allowed! Unlike in the other Houses, Racism against muggles and muggleborn is thus ENCOURAGED as a Virtue in Slytherin House.
Imagine for a moment that Hogwarts is actually a non-magic boarding school set in the real world, and that one of it's Houses is Hitler House. And thus the problem is suddenly made perfectly clear! :P
On the House System at Hogwarts in general: The worst idea in the history of terrible ideas at Hogwarts. Yeah, I know it's sacrilege to say that, but when it comes right down to it, the House system encourages the worst behaviour of ALL its students, not just Slytherin House. The "competitive atmosphere" it creates is not at all a healthy environment for fostering camaraderie and solidarity. It encourages division and prejudice, and as Hogwarts has served wizarding Britain for a thousand years, it affects the entire society.
For a more in-depth analysis, the following Thesis is an excellent examination of the issue. There are a couple of minor errors, and I don't necessarily agree 100%, but it makes a number of salient points, and its overall position is sound:
h t t p : / / skemman . is / stream/get/1946/24437/55850/1 BA_Ritger_Helga_Jonsdottir_PDF . pdf
On Mary Sues: This is fanfiction. The entire exercise is a "Mary Sue" more or less by definition. :P
Just write what you like. If you like it, other people will too. Pay no attention to the hecklers.
Having said that, I'm not a fan of OC's as central protagonists (but OC's as villains or secondary/tertiary characters I'm totally cool with), and I'm not a fan of OoC characterisations (most of the time) which turn a canon character into a Mary-Sue. If I think your story is too "Mary Sueish" for me, I just won't read it. But I won't annoy you or flame you. I'm not a heckler (though I might have a laugh with some friends elsewhere :P ).
*Things I like which make me want to keep reading a story:
1) Clear writing... too much purple prose can be distracting from the action. Less is More. And one can often weave a nice descriptor into the action itself. (Having said that, fanfic readers in general tend to like purple prose, so I myself have written at least one fanfic in which I pile it on a bit thick - notably, it's one of my most popular stories. Knowing your audience is key).
2) A plot (even a one-shot should at least have a theme with some sort of resolution at the end). Though if it's short, I'll read it anyway and appreciate it for what it is... which is usually a character sketch. This doesn't have to apply to porn though which can be anything and still entertaining.
3) This really should be #1. SHORTER paragraphs... word blockades make my eyes glaze over and I quickly move down the list of the fanfic browser to the next story. On a site with wide pages like this, a paragraph really shouldn't be more than four or five lines at most. Similarly that leads to...
4) Chapters that are 2000 to 4000 words in the beginning chapters when I'm trying to decide if a story is worth following.
5) Forward plot movement in most chapters (sometimes it's fun to take a chapter off and give the characters a breather though). Too much fluff can be distracting and/or boring. This doesn't necessarily apply to Comedy, Romance, and/or Smutfics.
6) Sex... If it's porn I don't care if it's gay or straight, romantic or nasty. Some of it's good but most of it sucks. But even the crap ones can be hilariously entertaining. :D Keep 'em coming (so to speak).
But if it's in a story, I like it to make sense in the context that the story is written. Frankly, even mild descriptions of sexual activity in a non-porn setting can often end up sounding like badly written porn which doesn't belong. It is not only uncomfortable to read, but it also distracts from the flow of the story.
So, how do you write a sex scene in a Romance or Drama which doesn't sound tawdry and is uncomfortable to read?
When in doubt, Less is More is my motto. You don't need a sexual play by play like it's a football match. You don't need bad cliches and florid language like "throbbing members" and "heaving bosoms." And "nasty" talk should only be placed in the mouths of characters who are "nasty" (otherwise it just seems grotesquely out of place, and out of character).
Focus on the emotional content and smaller sensual actions like a kiss or a touch, and leave the rest to the imagination. When the actions are described, the context of the style of the rest of the story should determine the sort of language used. A lot of the time, sex scenes are written in such a completely different style they stick out even more than they should.
If there is a sort of Heavy Metal/Cartoony/Anime vibe to a story though, then all bets are off. Have at it. Graphic scenes of sex and violence are a huge part of those genres. Again, for me, context is everything.
*These aren't "rules" per se, just things I like when I read something. Knowing what I like and what works is hopefully making me a better fiction writer.
Sometimes stories I read aren't at all like the above, but I still might enjoy them.
JK ROWLING ADMITS THAT ROMIONE IS A.U. FANFIC
Harmony shipping makes far more sense than Romione. This is the HEAVILY REVISED (i.e. Rantified ;-) ) essay portion of...
How Harry Potter Should Have Ended? Essay and "Fan-fiction" Experiment
Watson: I thought we should discuss Hermione… I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but now that you have written the books, do you have a new perspective on how you relate to Hermione and the relationship you have with her or had with her?
Rowling: I know that Hermione is incredibly recognizable to a lot of readers and yet you don’t see a lot of Hermiones in film or on TV except to be laughed at. I mean that the intense, clever, in some ways not terribly self-aware, girl is rarely the heroine and I really wanted her to be the heroine. She is part of me, although she is not wholly me. I think that is how I might have appeared to people when I was younger, but that is not really how I was inside.
What I will say is that I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione with Ron.
(emphasis added. i.e. Rowling is admitting that she AU'ed her own story. Harmony is clearly the canonical outcome as I will demonstrate)
Rowling: I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.
Watson: I don’t know. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.
Rowling: Yes exactly.
Watson: And vice versa.
Rowling: It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it… I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility. I can’t believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy!
In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit, and I’ll tell you something very strange. When I wrote Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent! I hadn’t told [Steven] Kloves that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point.
Watson: This is just so interesting because when I was doing the scene, I said to David [Heyman: “This isn’t in the book, she didn’t write this.” I’m not sure I am comfortable insinuating something however subtle it is!
Rowling: Yes, but David and Steve – they felt what I felt when writing it.
Watson: That is so strange.
Rowling: And actually I liked that scene in the film, because it was articulating something I hadn’t said but I had felt. I really liked it and I thought that it was right. I think you do feel the ghost of what could have been in that scene.
Watson: It’s a really haunting scene. It is funny because it really divided people. Some people loved that scene and some people really didn’t.
Rowling: Yes, some people utterly hated it. But that is true of so many really good scenes in books and films; they evoke that strong positive/negative feeling. I was fine with it, I liked it.
Watson: I remember really loving shooting those scenes that don’t have any dialogue, where you are just kind of trying to express a moment in time and a feeling without saying anything. It was just Dan and I spontaneously sort of trying to convey an idea and it was really fun.
Rowling: And you got it perfectly, you got perfectly the sort of mixture of awkwardness and genuine emotion, because it teeters on the edge of “What are we doing? Oh come on let’s do it anyway,” which I thought was just right for that time.
Watson: I think it was just the sense that in the moment they needed to be together and be kids and raise each others morale.
Rowling: That is just it, you are so right. All this says something very powerful about the character of Hermione as well. Hermione was the one that stuck with Harry all the way through that last installment, that very last part of the adventure. It wasn’t Ron, which also says something very powerful about Ron. He was injured in a way, in his self-esteem, from the start of the series. He always knew he came second to fourth best, and then he had to make friends with the hero of it all and that’s a hell of a position to be in, eternally overshadowed. So Ron had to act out in that way at some point.
But Hermione’s always there for Harry. I remember you sent me a note after you read Hallows and before you starting shooting, and said something about that, because it was Hermione’s journey as much as Harry’s at the end.
Watson: I completely agree and the fact that they were true equals and the fact that she really said goodbye to her family makes it her sacrifice too.
Rowling: Yes, her sacrifice was massive, completely. A very calculated act of bravery. That is not an “in the moment” act of bravery where emotion carries you through, that is a deliberate choice.
Rowling: I love Hermione.
Watson: I love her too.
Just to be clear : I DON'T HATE RON! This is not an Anti-Ron Rant per ser! THIS IS AN ANTI ROMIONE RANT!
It might seem like an Anti-Ron Rant, but it is actually an ANALYSIS of all of the factors which make Ron and Hermione a TERRIBLE PAIRING,
and of all of the factors which make HARRY AND HERMIONE the ONLY PAIRING which makes any sense!
It is NOT RON BASHING to point out all of Ron's MANY MANY FLAWS as they APPEAR IN THE BOOKS!
Ron is NOT the most loyal friend to either Harry or Hermione that Ron Fans pretend that he is!
If you don't like hearing the facts about Ron, then TAKE IT UP WITH ROWLING!
She's the one who WROTE HIM this way!
Rowling is the ORIGINAL "Ron Basher!"
DEAL WITH IT!
In the wake of JK Rowling’s recent revelations (as of 2014) that she felt she might have made a mistake, and that Harry and Hermione were better suited than Ron and Hermione, I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly. When I first read the books I thought they were a work of genius that would stand the test of time on a shelf next to Narnia and Middle Earth. Make no mistake; I still do feel this way. But now, with a bit of distance, I can sit back and view them with perhaps a more critical eye and admit to a few long held misgivings.
I have read the books again since then (multiple times) to see if my earlier conceptions of the Potter series still holds up to me (and I have rewatched all the films multiple times too, for comparison). And it is clear that though the series is still a work of genius in many respects, it is nonetheless a flawed work of genius!
I have understood implicitly from the start the mythic and metaphoric thematic connections that Rowling was making with the Harry/ Ginny pairing. Ginevra is Guinevere to Harry’s Arthur (not sure if that was consciously intended). Ginny with her red hair also represents Lily as Harry does his own father (I am certain that this was intended). And in those senses, perhaps the story ended up just as it should have. But I do recall feeling disappointed that Harry and Hermione never ended up together, despite my adoration of the series. I still do feel that way.
Ron had clear issues with inadequacy and jealousy, and his sense of humour was occasionally more than a little bit cruel. His lack of interest in social justice for non-humans also displayed a level of insensitivity which could surely not be easily overcome by social-justice-advocate Hermione. Rowling was brilliant however, at forging this believably stormy relationship steadily over 7 books. Though it is apparently that very storminess which Rowling herself has come to realise would make a more long-term pairing for Ron with Hermione inevitably unworkable. Ron didn’t even realise until the middle of book 4 (GoF) that he liked liked Hermione (though there are already clues to the future intentions of the author from at least the second book on, to the patient reader).
And even then, Ron continually fell flat on his face, hoisted on his own petard of churlish behaviour. His relationship with Lavender in book 6 (HBP) was instigated more out of spite towards his own sister and Hermione than it was for any particular affection for “Lav Lav.” None of this is to take away from the inherent decency of Ron’s character, but it shows that as loyal and brave of a friend that Ron could be at times, it only went so far--and could only continue to go so far as long as he has unresolved issues.
This is evidenced several times throughout the series, most notably when Ron ditched Harry in GoF, and even more significantly when he ditched Harry and Hermione both in Deathly Hallows. It is true that Ron eventually returned shamefaced, but it is only because he left in the first place that he had to return. I frankly don’t see that Ron had any potential for any long-term romantic relationships until he worked through his problems.
Anybody who leaves their girlfriend in the middle of a war zone when any of them could be captured, tortured, raped and/or killed at any moment has stepped over a line which they can't come back from in real life. Forgiveness if it comes, will come at the end of a good-bye note. :P
Despite all, I do think the stormy (terrible) relationship between Ron and Hermione was extremely well developed and well written for the most part. I’m sorry to say, from a critical literary perspective, that Ginny and Harry didn’t fare so well. In regards to their personae, they seem like a reasonably workable pair at face value, but the relationship is not at all developed over the span of the series, and the writing seems forced when Harry and Ginny finally do “hook-up.”
Clunky phrases like “It was as though something large and scaly erupted into life in Harry’s stomach, clawing at his insides...” (*facepalm* Aaaaaaaaaargh!!! :P The description sounds like something out of a bad Harlequin romance) are inserted to clumsily convey an untapped reserve of romantic feelings regarding Ginny which had not existed hitherto in 5 1/2 books.
All of a sudden, a previously secondary (mostly tertiary) character was thrust into a primary role, which Rowling had unfortunately left until almost the last book to attempt to correct. Jo is right to now also question matching up a primary character with a secondary character from a strictly literary point of view. From a literary perspective, the lead male character gets the lead female character at the end (though as many Potter fan-fic writers can attest to [like Drarry ‘shippers’] nowadays the gender pairings can be more “flexible”).
And as far as workable pairings go, besides the fact that Harry and Hermione share common experiences such as growing up with muggles, Hermione provides a much needed check on what Dumbledore considered to be Harry’s hot head. In this sense, she is a much better match as a metaphorical stand in for Lily in the psychological equation of Harry to his father. Lily is credited with cooling off James Potter and bringing the best out in him; likewise, Hermione performs the same function for Harry.
Ginny is actually too much like Harry to provide the balance he needs. Rather, she tends to run hot herself, and in some instances she even reinforces Harry’s worst behaviour. It is SO ironic that in the film, HBP, Ginny tells Harry to get rid of Snape’s old potions book after he uses the sectumsempra spell on Draco (a spell found in the book which causes gashing wounds), and helps him to hide it.
Yet in the book Ginny verbally attacks Hermione for quite rightfully telling Harry off for using an unknown curse with potentially deadly consequences.
So it can be argued that Hermione and Harry fought too; that it wasn’t only Ron she got upset with. But look at the difference between many of the things she fought with Ron over and with Harry over. Ron consistently made her cry by being an “insensitive wart” at best, and rather mean and horrible at worst. With Harry, the arguments revolved around circumstances which she believed endangered Harry, or actions which she believed Harry would come to regret.
And let's not forget, as Rowling herself unfortunately apparently did, Harry actually bloody FREES A HOUSE-ELF in CoS. That alone should have guaranteed a Harmony outcome. I mean come on, does anyone REALLY believe that the girl who is campaigning to FREE HOUSE-ELVES would spurn the boy who ACTUALLY FREED ONE in favour of a lazy boy who wishes he had his own House-Elves to do his chores??? If this isn't absolute proof that Rowling literally AU'd the conclusion of her own story, I don't know what is.
Likewise, Harry is depicted as actually LIKING to read his school-books, even before term starts (much like Hermione does herself)--at least before he falls under Ron's bad influence. Harry displays an intellectual curiosity which Ron never does, throughout the entire series. Except for Chess and figuring out how to enter the Chamber of Secrets in DH, I'm hard-pressed to think of any positive examples of Ron's intellect. Ron is certainly never described in the books as anywhere near intelligent enough to be seen as a credible life-companion for Hermione. Harry on the other hand displays an intellectual ability that although not as great as Hermione's, is strong enough to make him FAR more credible as her partner.
And it cannot be stressed hard enough that Hermione is SO loyal to Harry, and SO trusting of him that she made a HUGE sacrifice when she wipes her parents' memories of her to protect them while she stays by Harry's side. Most people don't really stop to think about how big of a sacrifice that is. Hermione literally erases herself from her parent's lives.
(And she does it using a spell which neither she or Harry would contemplate using under normal circumstances. Obliviation such a clear violation of personal sovereignty it is something I am certain would generally be reserved by Harry and Hermione only for enemies. In fact, during the fight in London with Dolohov and Rowle she claims it is the first time she's used the spell. Though as this occurs after she has already modified her parents' memories, this is clearly an incongruity Rowling and her editors missed during a rewrite. I think we can safely assume that Hermione did in fact use the Obliviate spell on her parents).
Now, since her most recent interview, I finally understand why Rowling’s writing faltered on this point. Perhaps she believed it was too late to rectify the situation when she was writing Deathly Hallows--that she had too much invested in “clinging to the plot.” However, I think Rowling still could have turned things around in the last book had she been willing to do so at the time. I have attempted to demonstrate how in the piece of fan-fiction following this essay, which rewrites or adds key sections of Deathly Hallows to reflect JK’s recent revelations. I have also attempted to mimic Rowling’s narrative style as best as I can (including the inordinate amount of ‘had hads’ which her editor failed to clean up).
I begin after the events in the chapter Godric’s Hollow because really, ALL of the events leading up to this scene, the most pivotal one in the entire series, are driving Hermione and Harry closer together. Ron’s departure is a critical juncture which leads up to probably the most beautifully written chapter in the entire series. It is sad and bittersweet. It is also easily the most romantic. It beats any other scenes in the series posing as romance hollow (see what I did there... ahem). Some of the many other scenes brilliantly capture the awkward attempts at teen romance by the characters, but none others come this close to being real poetry or actually romantic. This scene is a lovely piece of Gothic Romance in more ways than one.
Not one single word of Godric’s Hollow needs to be altered to push the narrative forth ‘shipping’ the romantic coupling of Harry and Hermione. I believe this is the apex of the entire series for many of the themes it embodies, and it is without any doubt whatsoever the crux of its emotional arc--including romantic love. It is really the beginning of the end of the series at this point. For Harry begins truly coming to terms with his parents’ deaths at their grave-side, and starts unraveling the answers to questions about his relationships with his mentors, his friends, his ancestors, and his enemies.
Six and a half books’ worth of emotional narrative is packed into that Church graveyard at Godric’s Hollow. And only ONE other character in the entire series is there to share it with Harry... Hermione!
And this isn’t the first significant emotional event which Hermione alone shared with Harry. To wit, the instance in which Harry Potter literally saves his own life and Siruis’s from a hundred Dementors and discovers the power of his full patronus which takes the form of a stag, unlocking a direct connection to his father. It’s the most emotionally potent moment--the first since discovering he was a wizard--of enlightenment and personal growth on all levels of being, physical and psychic; which only Hermione shares with Harry. Not to mention that in the same scenes surrounding this event, Harry and Hermione fly on a Hippogriff together--Hippogriffs are a symbol of love. It is the clear beginning to the very real romantic arc which peaks at Godric's Hollow. Intended or not, that the romantic arc exists is undeniable.
When Ron runs off, he asks Hermione to make a choice: him or Harry! So, who did Hermione choose when Ron left? Well of course it was Harry. Did she just choose Harry to keep her promise to help him knock off Voldemort? Perhaps, we know how the story ended as written, don’t we--and it is certainly in Hermione's nature to keep promises. But I think that rather supports my views either way you look at it. Hermione kept her promise and Ron did not.
I don’t think I’m just blowing smoke. It was also a choice of Jo’s to write Ron out of the equation in the chapters preceding Godric's Hollow. Jo has mentioned that at one point in writing she had wondered whether Ron would survive. Is this the point in her writing of the series where she was pondering whether Ron ought to live or die? I think it might be.
I’d bet good money that this is the primary scene which really expresses who Jo Rowling would have chosen to be with had she not been “clinging to her plot,” consciously or not during that period. Jo has often stated that Hermione is most like herself. So it makes sense to me that she might have some regrets in retrospect. She likes to be with men who make her laugh, but who wants to be around someone that hurts them all the time? Which is more or less what Ron does to Hermione throughout much of the series.
Thankfully for Ron, Jo decided that would it would be too cruel to kill him off (personally, I think it was a mistake to kill off Fred Weasley. Literarily speaking it would have made more sense to kill off Percy while he redeemed himself at the Battle of Hogwarts for his prior betrayal of the family by saving Fred’s life).
[...snip: The fanfiction portion is already posted among my other stories...]
So, Ron gets his big moment and smooch with Hermione on page 625, but there is almost no personal interaction between Ginny and Harry during the entire battle and the aftermath.
Even Luna gets more significant scenes with Harry than Ginny does.
If there were no epilogue, one could be forgiven for thinking that Luna and Harry had more potential as romantic partners than Ginny and Harry. Harry spends more time with Luna in the last chapters--ironically in part because Ginny is more jealous of Harry with Cho than of Harry with Luna, and thus sends him off with Luna to help him figure out how to find the lost Diadem of Ravenclaw. But it is also ironic, because there are more intimate moments between Harry and Luna in the last three books than there are in the entire series between him and Ginny. The scenes between Harry and Luna are more honestly, maturely, and movingly written. No extraneous descriptors or clunky metaphors are used to convey Harry’s emotional connections to Luna; just clear, beautiful writing.
And after the final battle, it’s Luna who helps him to escape the scene for some peace and quiet (page 745). Tellingly, Harry notices Ginny as he moves through the Hall, but avoids her altogether; because, the author assures us “There would be time to talk later.” Yet there is no talking later in the final few pages of the book proper at all.
It is only in the epilogue (19 years later) that we have any real indication that there might have been anything of substance to Harry’s fling with Ginny. And even then, the big emotional payoff is between Harry and the son who is most like himself. Ginny is at best a tertiary character even in the bloody epilogue!!! :P :P :P
In the end though, it is only because of Rowling’s genius that anybody even gives a hoot about who any of the characters pair up with. The Potter series will stand the test of time and take its rightful place on a bookshelf next to the works of Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Roald Dahl.
Afterthought: There is another beautifully written sequence of Gothic Romance which anchors the series. That is of course the chapter, The Prince's Tale, which covers Severus's tragic romance of Lily--Harry's Mother. That chapter alone has inspired legions of Wuthering Heights fans to produce massive amounts of fan-fic and fan-art exploring the tantalising possibilities. I would have gone into it a bit here, but that sequence deserves its own literary and psychological analysis, and would have distracted from my main thesis.
The Myth that Ron and Hermione Were in Any Way Compatible is Not Borne Out in the Text of Canon
Okay, so there really aren't that many Romione shippers among fanfic Writers in Potter Fandom anymore, but there still seem to be plenty of Romione shippers among the rest of the Fandom. And invariably they say that Ron and Hermione are "perfect for each other" because Ron makes Hermione laugh a bit (and they sometimes add in that Hermione makes Ron a bit more serious, so they balance each other out).
But for a moment, if you're a Romione shipper, try to look at things from an objective point of view and put that aside. Let's just examine the literary evidence.
A good writer Shows us the motivations of the characters, they don’t just Tell us about it. And frankly, Rowling didn’t even really Tell us what it is that Hermione allegedly sees in Ron in the books. She sort of mentioned it after the books were written that Hermione likes the fact that Ron is funny.
But what we actually see in the text in the books is something completely different. Ron is insulting and horrible to Hermione in first year. And though there are no huge fights indicated in second year, we are told in PoA (third year) that Ron has been insulting Hermione at least once a week since first year (yes, calling someone a know-it-all is an insult).
(Harry NEVER insulted Hermione. He never once called her a bossy know-it-all. And it’s never even indicated that Harry thinks being smart or a "know-it-all" is a bad thing. And only once in The Philosopher’s Stone is it clearly indicated that Harry thinks that Hermione is bossy and interfering… and that was before the Troll Incident. And in any case, Harry still never actually said it to Hermione. Indeed, Harry is the one who wants to look for Hermione to save her from the Troll. He practically has to drag Ron to look for her).
Okay, to get back to the point: Ron’s been insulting Hermione for the first three years, even after they’ve become friends. And then in PoA there are lots of huge fights between Hermione and Ron.
(And even though Harry isn’t happy that Hermione told McGonagall about the Firebolt without talking to him, it’s Ron who actually seems to be the most upset and fights with Hermione about it. Not to mention that this is one of the first major examples of Rowling writing Hermione out of character. Hermione as established up to this point, has learned to trust Harry--this is without question as it is indicated at the end of first year when she tells Harry that he's a great wizard and that friendship and bravery are more important even than books and cleverness. There is no way that the previous version of Hermione would have gone to McGonagall first. She would have discussed it with Harry first, and Harry would have very likely agreed with Hermione, especially considering that he was almost hurled to his death from a cursed broom in first year. Rowling changed Hermione's character simply for the sake of a bit of drama).
Then there’s fourth year. And again, Ron insults Hermione and fights with her about House Elves (not to mention that Ron wishes he had his own house-elf slave while Hermione wants to free them, and Harry ACTUALLY freed a house-elf). Ron throws a hissy fit and has a huge row with Hermione about Krum. (And let's not forget that after Ron is a total jerk to Harry and ditches him, Hermione stands by Harry). So a lot of fourth year is taken up with Ron and Hermione being at loggerheads.
Then there’s fifth year. Though no huge rows are shown, it is indicated that Ron and Hermione are constantly arguing and fighting in a more low key way (“bickering” Harry calls it).
Then there’s sixth year. Admittedly, Hermione is written completely out of character to such a degree that it destroys our suspension of disbelief (for one thing, given her established characterisation and trust of Harry, she would have believed Harry about Draco, and for another, there is no way that Hermione would have been stupid enough to think that following instructions and learning from someone else’s notes to do well in potions was cheating. Nor would she have begrudged Harry doing well in potions after for the previous FIVE YEARS encouraging Harry to do well in potions. The only thing that rings true is telling off Harry for using unknown spells on unsuspecting people. But then Harry is written out of character too. It simply isn’t credible to believe that Harry IN SIXTH YEAR would be so stupid as to actually use unknown spells on unsuspecting people).
Regardless, Ron is still written consistently in keeping with HIS established characterisation. And in sixth year, Ron is a complete arse towards Hermione.
Not only that, Ron is horrible to Ginny too and comes close to calling her a slut (though, to be fair, Ginny doesn't take his crap, and is perfectly capable of dishing it right back at him). He exploits Lavender’s affections simply to spite Hermione AND Ginny (which is a bit creepy if you think about it). All the way around he's treating three young women very badly (and let's not forget that Ron is also yelling at girls on the quidditch team and making them cry). In the end, Ron spends a lot of sixth year fighting with Hermione, and ONLY shows his real appreciation when Hermione is doing his homework for him.
And then there’s seventh year. And we all know what a complete mess that was.
And before anyone blames it on the horcrux, it’s important to remember that the horcrux doesn’t actually change people—it really just reveals the truth of one’s character. Harry and Hermione merely become a bit more irritable when they wear it (and if you think about it, given that Harry has been through WAY MORE pain and suffering than Ron ever has, it’s very revealing about Harry’s sterling nature that Harry isn’t the one to go completely mental).
So again, Ron goes off the rails, ditches his best friend, and treats Hermione like rubbish. And it’s really a bit icky when it is revealed earlier in the book that Ron is using a “witch-charming” book to try and win Hermione’s affections, instead of just trying to grow up a bit and get over himself.
So what we’re left with in the end, is SEVEN YEARS OF FIGHTING, and that Ron and Hermione really have no business being together, and that for some reason (wish-fulfillment Rowling calls it in the interview in which she admitted that Harry and Hermione were a better fit) Rowling portrays Hermione as one of “those sorts of girls,” a smart assertive girl who nonetheless is inexplicably drawn to guys who treat her like rubbish and infuriate her to no end.
And we’re supposed to believe that Hermione falls for Ron just because he makes her laugh a bit??? It really doesn’t make any sense unless you accept that Hermione is so weak-minded and so insecure that she overlooks all the misery that Ron puts her through and all of their fighting.
Anyway, I think from an objective point of view, it’s fairly clear that Ron and Hermione aren’t actually “perfect for each other,” in any way, shape, or form, and that indeed, they actually bring out the WORST in each other.
Ron Isn't Really So Bad (he's not Draco)
(and why he should have never been more than the goofy comic-relief sidekick)
Ron’s insecurity and jealousy issues really aren’t all his fault. There are a couple of things going on here. Ron had issues even before he met Harry.
For one thing, he’s the youngest brother in a large family in which all of the older brothers are smarter than him, more accomplished than him, and aggressive (and yes, Fred and George - especially Fred - are a bit aggressive, and aren't always as nice as they could be to Ron), and in which his little sister, as the only girl, is doted upon. That’s enough right there to make Ron feel a bit lost in the crowd, picked on, and jealous.
Ron thinks his family is poor, but really, Arthur probably makes a perfectly good income working for the Ministry, but because the family is so large, their budget is very tight, and so Ron gets a lot of hand-me-downs from his older brothers. That’s another strike for the jealousy issue column.
And as I pointed out, Ron’s really not all that swift, and he has a genetic predisposition to temper tantrums (the dreaded Weasley Temper, which they all seem to get from Molly). So he really doesn’t have the tools for dealing with his issues.
So THIS kid, with all of his insecurity and jealousy issues, meets THE Harry Potter on the train, who he hero-worships (and stares at his scar, which Harry hates), and wants to be Harry’s friend (well who wouldn’t). Ron more or less sets himself up for a tortured relationship with Harry.
I don’t hate Ron! He's got some positive character traits: He's funny, he's brave, he's inexplicably good at chess, he's generally a decent bloke who knows right from wrong, and he always comes around eventually once he gets over his tantrums.
I feel a bit sorry for Ron (but not as sorry as I feel for Harry, who has lost so much in life, and grew up with no friends and being neglected and abused, or for Hermione, who though she had plenty of everything and attentive parents, also grew up with no friends and being bullied). Despite all of his flaws (which also includes laziness, lack of intellectual curiosity, a motor mouth, and a tendency to rudeness) Ron has at least been raised right, and is a decent guy at heart. He is perfectly situated to be the goofy comic-relief sidekick.
My response to some Potter fanfiction readers who claimed that the Dursleys never physically abused Harry and who were complaining about fanfiction writers "making up" Harry's physical abuse to score points with fans:
Petunia tries to bean Potter with a frying pan in CoS and Vernon throttles Harry in OotP.
CoS: "Harry paid dearly for his moment of fun. As neither Dudley nor the hedge was in any way hurt, Aunt Petunia knew he hadn't really done magic, but he still had to duck as she aimed a heavy blow at his head with the soapy frying pan. Then she gave him work to do, with the promise he wouldn't eat again until he'd finished."
OotP: "Harry felt as though his head had been split in two. Eyes streaming, he swayed, trying to focus on the street to spot the source of the noise, but he had barely staggered upright when two large purple hands reached through the open window and closed tightly around his throat.
'Put - it - away!' Uncle Vernon snarled into Harry's ear. 'Now.' Before - anyone - sees!'
'Get - off - me!' Harry gasped. For a few seconds they struggled, Harry pulling at his uncle's sausage-like fingers with his left hand, his right maintaining a firm grip on his raised wand; then, as the pain in the top of Harry's head gave a particularly nasty throb, Uncle Vernon yelped and released Harry as though he had received an electric shock. Some invisible force
It is possible that Dumbledore, just like other commenters on this thread, really was fooled by the cartoony Simpsons vibe of the Dursleys.
It's just Bart getting strangled by Homer. That's not really physical violence!
Oh look, Marge just conked Bart on the noggin with a frying pan. That's not really assault with a deadly weapon upon a minor!
:P Ppppppphhht again!
What ACTUALLY happened is that the writer of the fanfic in question apparently made a (given the reactions on this thread), semi-successful attempt to address a plot "gap" which is patently obvious to anyone who has had to address the harsh realities of violence and child abuse in the REAL world.
The author attempted to solve a problem which Rowling has clearly left to other writers. How does a Headmaster who supposedly loves Harry as a sort of grandson - a Headmaster of the world's most prestigious academy of magic, who also heads an underground political organization, leads the wizard parliament... AND the wizard UN...?
How does a man with all of that political clout overlook the VERY REAL (in the context of fiction :P) PHYSICAL ABUSE of the boy who HE HIMSELF chose to send to the boy's Abusers?
Make no mistake; Rowling couched the violence in cartoonish language and imagery, but the violence IS canonical. As is Dumbledore's morally stunning lack of interest in the matter. Telling Petunia not to kick Harry out of the house after she once attempted to strike Harry with a deadly weapon is hardly displaying moral certitude.
Rowling couldn't write about every minute of Harry's torture for children, so she softened it with imagery lifted from cartoons and Punch and Judy shows.
But in reality, a conk with a frying pan can lead to a fractured skull, and even death. And in reality, strangulation leads to suffocation and eventually... yep... Death! :P
It is no stretch to picture Harry with more than just one scar.
In Rowling's Canon, Harry suffered as much as any other Physically Beaten and Physically Neglected Child.
Rowling, as the original author, is the one who should have addressed this problem more directly, and explained in clearer language (and understanding) Dumbledore's reasoning and his behaviour.
The rest of us fanfic writers (at least those of us who take writing a bit more seriously and like to occasionally write more than Crackfics and Potterporns ;) ) are just trying to solve logical problems like this.
More Stupid Crap some HP fanfic "literary critics" say on their blogs:
"Why do people who make the Dursley's more abusive then [sic] they are in canon make Harry fond of reading? There is no logical reason for this change."
"I wish writers would realize that 'devouring books' is not Harry Potter's thing."
I wonder if these self-styled "literary critics" ever actually read the bloody books. It's really shocking to me that someone can manage a blog dedicated to critiquing fanfic, when they have demonstrated such a complete lack of comprehension of the canon. :P
Harry likes to read his Wizarding school-books and do homework before term starts:
The Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone Chapter 6: "Harry kept to his room, with his new owl for company. He had decided to call her Hedwig, a name he had found in A History of Magic. His school books were very interesting. He lay on his bed reading late into the night, Hedwig swooping in and out of the open window as she pleased."
Chapter 8: "Harry forced himself to keep looking straight into those cold eyes. He had looked through his books at the Dursleys', but did Snape expect him to remember everything in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
CoS Chapter 1: “All Harry’s spellbooks, his wand, robes, cauldron, and top-of-the-line Nimbus 2,000 broomstick had been locked in a cupboard under the stairs by Uncle Vernon the instant Harry had come home. What did the the Dursleys care if Harry lost his place on the Quidditch Team because he hadn’t practiced all summer. What was it to the Dursleys if Harry went back to school without any of his homework done.”
PoA Chapter 1: “Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard.
It was nearly midnight, and he was lying on his stomach in bed, the blankets drawn right over his head like a tent, a flashlight in one hand and a large leather-bound book (A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot) propped open against the pillow. Harry moved the tip of his eagle-feather quill down the page, frowning as he looked for something that would help him write his essay "Witch Burning in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless discuss."
The quill paused at the top of a likely-looking paragraph. Harry Pushed his round glasses up the bridge of his nose, moved his flashlight closer to the book, and read:
'Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever. The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation. Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less than fortyseven times in various disguises.'
Harry put his quill between his teeth and reached underneath his pillow for his ink bottle and a roll of parchment. Slowly and very carefully he unscrewed the ink bottle, dipped his quill into it, and began to write, pausing every now and then to listen, because if any of the Dursleys heard the scratching of his quill on their way to the bathroom, he'd probably find himself locked in the cupboard under the stairs for the rest of the summer.
This separation from his spellbooks had been a real problem for Harry, because his teachers at Hogwarts had given him a lot of holiday work. One of the essays, a particularly nasty one about shrinking potions, was for Harry's least favorite teacher, Professor Snape, who would be delighted to have an excuse to give Harry detention for a month. Harry had therefore seized his chance in the first week of the holidays. While Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley had gone out into the front garden to admire Uncle Vernon's new company car (in very loud voices, so that the rest of the street would notice it too), Harry had crept downstairs, picked the lock on the cupboard under the stairs, grabbed some of his books, and hidden them in his bedroom. As long as he didn't leave spots of ink on the sheets, the Dursleys need never know that he was studying magic by night.”
And as another demonstration that Ron Weasley's pairing with Hermione is NOT really canon (okay, technically it is, but it's really JKR's OWN A.U. seeing as Harry/Hermione is clearly the primary pairing in most of the story as written)...
...Ron Weasley has no interest in doing homework before term starts:
CoS Chapter 4: (reading a letter from Hermione) “ ‘I’m very busy with schoolwork of course’-- How can she be?” said Ron in horror. “We’re on vacation! ...”
More Evidence that Harmony was meant to be:
from Virgil, a book of poems called Eclogues. Hippogriffs are a symbol of love - a supposedly impossible mating between Griffins and mares. Harry and Hermione fly together on a Hippogriff in Prisoner of Azkaban. Case Closed!!! :P
Is it a coincidence that Scabbers/Wormtail/Peter Pettigrew was Paired with first Percy and then Ron Weasley?:
I think NOT... It may not have been conscious on Rowling's part, but symbolically, JK is telling us that Percy and Ron are the Most-Likely-to-Betray their family and friends. It is very revealing of their characters.
Though, I do grant Ron some slack, because Ron did return and save Harry (albeit in a very Deus Ex Machina moment which rather stretches story credibility :P ). I suppose that has to count for something.
I give Percy almost NO slack, because frankly, he did nothing to redeem himself except show up at the very last minute... after being embedded in an increasingly Fascist and Corrupt Ministry for a few years, bashing Harry, supporting Umbridge, supporting Scrimgeour, and ultimately supporting the Ministry while it was rounding up muggleborns. His leaving at the last minute was too little, too late, and his redemption would be more credible if he had died saving Fred.
Ron's full name: Ronald Bilius Weasley
Continues to beg the question: What the hell was Rowling thinking when she paired Ron with Hermione? :P
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