Fanfiction Fridays: Dumbledore’s Army

as a metamorphmagus, i should be able to transform into any shape i want to be. but who is there to teach me? we are rare. the only metamorphmagus i know is long gone.

but at thirteen years old, puberty is beginning. and it’s not right. there are lumps on my chest that hurt when i press on them, shrink ever so slightly, but this is the default shape and i hate it.

i hate that i can’t control the only talent i seem to have.

“it’ll just take practice.”

that was what everyone said. and at first, it was funny, when my hair flashed different colours over an argument at dinner, and i woke up with a nose that protruded out of my face like a beak.

but now, in the privacy of my own room, it’s infuriating. i can’t look the way i want, and i can’t explain that to anyone else, because all they see is a girl.

“i’m not. i’m not.” i flop back down on the bed, face buried in the pillow. outside, various potter/weasley children play a game of tag up and down the street. they’re having fun, enjoying the summer sun while it’s out, and i’m up here, sulking. in how many more ways can i be different from the others?

as much as they tell me, harry and ginny aren’t really my parents. i’m not a potter, or a weasley. and now — how can this even be normal?

transgender. i already know what it means — at this point, i’m something of an expert. it means inwardly cringing every time someone says ‘she’. it means hiding the way i look, even to myself.

the adults know something’s up. this has been going on — badly — for weeks, ever since i got home from school. those changes had crept up on me during exams and now there’s nothing to distract me from the disaster happening right in front of me.

so now i hide. in my room, away from their casual inquiries.

lupin-tonksA week-ish ago, I found myself reading a fascinating article about the many ways in which Harry Potter has failed its queer fans. While the writer did predictably come down on the ultra-heteronormalizing Lupin/Tonks marriage, I was surprised to read that people had read not just Remus as queer, but Tonks as well. While it seems obvious in retrospect, I apparently missed that ship when it was sailing.

I set out to rectify this and acquire some fantastic queer Tonks headcanons, but the AO3’s tagging system, which I find notoriously hard to use effectively in the Harry Potter fandom in particular, thwarted me. I can’t be too mad, though, because my search turned up the fantastic fic Dumbledore’s Army.

As you might have guessed from the excerpt, this fic centers on Teddy Lupin. It begins with his coming out as trans, first to Victoire Weasley, his closest not-quite-sibling, then to the rest of his family, and then to school, where he has already completed two years as his assigned-at-birth gender. (Whether it’s a testament to the progress of the wizarding world or just a testament to the accepting nature of his fellow Hufflepuffs, his new dorm mates in the boys’ dorms are totally accepting and eager to welcome him.)

The fic is told entirely from Teddy’s point of view, but each brief, separate chapter focuses on a different queer figure in the wizarding world. Whether they’re someone Teddy knows personally, or just someone he knows of, each of these people have had some kind of effect on him. From close family members who have supported him, to people whose only help was in existing before he did and thereby paving the way for the other queer and trans people who came after, they’re all important in one way or another.

Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs might have been assholes, but they weren't bigots.

Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs might have been assholes, but they weren’t bigots.

This fic is chock full of lots of poignant and touching moments that I loved, but my especial favorite is the headcanon that the Marauder’s Map doesn’t deadname. While this could essentially mean that the Map could, in the wrong hands, be used to out people as trans who weren’t out yet, it also means that the Map acknowledges who a person really is, not the name or gender society has assigned them.

For whatever reason, this fic has been orphaned by its author, and is listed under the catch-all orphan_account author credit on AO3. Whatever inspired them to detach their name from the fic, I’m glad they decided to leave it up for the rest of us to stumble upon. You can check out Dumbledore’s Army here—it’s a quick and touching read at less than 5,000 words.

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3 thoughts on “Fanfiction Fridays: Dumbledore’s Army

  1. “As you might have guessed from the excerpt, this fic centers on Teddy Lupin.” – actually, given the way you framed the start of this and reading the excerpt, I assumed it was gonna be Tonks who was trans in this fic… whoops. Lol. I’ll check it out! Thanks for the rec.

  2. In the early ’00s, I wrote an academic article on queer werewolves, and included Lupin in it. You’d be surprised at how the queer-theory-savvy editors of the publication in which it eventually appeared said after the final books in the original series came out, “Do you want to retract that section now that Lupin is married?” I said “No–he’s married to a morphomagus, and marriage doesn’t mean someone isn’t queer–there is such a thing as bisexuality, you know!” Anyway…if you are interested, and I can send you a PDF of the article if you give me an e-mail address.

    • That sounds fascinating, I’d love to read it! Can you send it to our blog email coordinator (porluciernagas at gmail dot com) and I’ll have her forward it on to me. Thank you!

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