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.

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Harry Potter and the Lack of True Intersectionality

I was into a lot of geeky things as a kid, but Harry Potter was my number one fandom, and back then, the Harry Potter stories could basically do no wrong. Now, as an adult, I realize that there are definitely things in Harry Potter that were problematic or simply things that I think J.K. Rowling could have done better, both from a writing and from an intersectional feminist perspective. We have already discussed on this site how problematic it is that many of the characters that are analogous with discrimination are all white, cisgender, heterosexual, and able-bodied, and relatedly, recently I have been seeing a lot of racebent pictures of Harry Potter characters in the fandom. It seems the two most popular are Black Hermione and Indian or biracial Harry, both of which I love, but it got me thinking about the lack of any real discussion on the intersectionality of discrimination in Harry Potter.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Noodle’s Top 10 Headcanon Bi Characters

I basically live for representation of LGBTQ+ characters. As a bi person, I’m especially starved for good bi representation. Unfortunately, such characters are especially difficult to come by. Then there are wonderful characters who could be great bisexuals, and that’s where headcanons come in. A headcanon is something that is not explicitly stated in the text, but doesn’t contradict it either, and you like to imagine it’s true. It’s not as great as actual representation, but it can be great fun and provide comfort when actual representation isn’t there. So, today I want to share with you my Top 10 characters whom I like to imagine are bisexual and who would make excellent representation if they were made canonically bisexual.

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Where Are All the Female Werewolves?

the wolf man 1941Werewolves have never really been the most popular monster; they’re usually second fiddle to vampires or zombies. I suppose there’s some sense to that. Vampires are sexy romantics and zombie hoards are harbingers of the apocalypse. Werewolves usually act alone, and, outside of Twilight and Teen Wolf, aren’t typically portrayed as having much sex appeal. In 1941, The Wolf Man became the first successful werewolf film. Our monster has a furry face, spreads his affliction through biting others, kills people, and is ultimately killed by his own silver walking stick. He’s monstrous, not sexy.  We can understand why vampires and zombies scare us, too. Vampires might represent a powerful person draining us of our own power for personal gain. Zombies drawn on our fear of pandemics and the ignorant masses destroying those of us just trying to survive. But what about werewolves? The most common answer I find is that werewolves speak to the changes a teenager experiences during puberty. Pisces already explored how this dynamic works in Teen Wolf. But if that’s the case, then where are all the female werewolves?

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Fanfiction Fridays: Searching for Remus by ForgottenMoonbeam92

He had crept away here, burning, miserable, and his Gran had sent him to bed early, convinced he was falling ill. He had not had the courage to tell her what he had heard, or ask her further about his father. His illusions had fallen as he lay tossing that night, the words playing themselves over and over in his head. Left her…coward…abandoned them…helpless…

He arose the next morning with a new image in his head; that of a skulking, round-shouldered, rather balding man with a weak mind and heart. He knew that his father had been tall and broad-shouldered, but it soothed the ache a little to imagine his father worthless, undeserving of pity or compassion. He knew that there were parts of the story he was missing, but he knew that there was no excuse for what his father had done. And so he put Remus Lupin to the back of his mind, degraded and dethroned from the pedestal on which he had been raised.

—from ForgottenMoonbeam92’s Searching for Remus (x)

Harry Potter Remus LupinThis past week, the universe has been doing its damnedest to remind me that no, I will never truly leave the Harry Potter fandom. By far, my favorite reminder has been the countless number of posts I’ve seen lately that reveal Remus Lupin’s full name to mean “Wolfy Werewolf McWerewolfpants”. I share a love in the irony that all of Rowling’s werewolves have names that translate roughly to “I am a werewolf”, but for me, it adds another layer of ridiculous to one of my favorite characters; which I severely needed after the character assassination Lupin received in the last few books. Of course, there’s no way I can understand a character better than the author, and I don’t claim to. However, I always felt that Lupin’s later abandonment and sudden unwillingness to act like an adult—despite that being one of his main character traits—was a product of sloppy writing. For better or for worse, though, that’s what we got. And the dislike of said later Lupin’s actions is totally a fanfiction topic I can get behind.

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Magical Mondays: Magic as Allegory

remus lupinWe’ve talked a lot on this blog about authors who use their novels as religious allegories, but many authors also use various magical diseases and abilities as a stand-in for many touchy political or personal issues.

In J.K. Rowling’s case, she switched out a real disease for an imaginary one: lycanthropy. The werewolves that populate Harry Potter were meant to be an allegory for the real-life suffering of people with HIV and AIDS, who, up until recently, were treated with contempt and suspicion by the general populace due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what caused the disease and what the disease did. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s Remus Lupin’s life in a nutshell. In the 2008 court case between JKR and Steve Vander Ark over the HP Lexicon, Rowling said:

I know that I’ve said publicly that Remus Lupin was supposed to be on the H.I.V. metaphor. It was someone who had been infected young, who suffered stigma, who had a fear of infecting others, who was terrified he would pass on his condition to his son. And it was a way of examining prejudice, unwarranted prejudice towards a group of people. And also, examining why people might become embittered when they’re treated that unfairly.

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In Brightest Day: Ableism in Harry Potter

In the wizarding world of Harry Potter, some wizards divide magical society based on blood-status, much like some people divide society based on race. The pureblood/half-blood/muggle-born debate is a driving force throughout the series. The bad guys think pureblood wizards are more powerful, while the good guys think the quality of the wizard has no basis in his or her lineage.

This is an accepted fact. Many literary pieces have been written discussing the point. I own several books discussing the psychology of Harry Potter, and I must say that if you want to learn more about the inner workings of the series, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Neil Mulholland’s The Psychology of Harry Potter.

But what about the blatant examples of ableism in Harry Potter? Why don’t we ever talk about those? Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: All Kidding Aside by Kihin Ranno

And now it’s time for a blast from my past! All Kidding Aside by Kihin Ranno was one of those fanfics that just really affected my time in high school. My friends and I quoted this fanfic almost as much as we quoted the Harry Potter books.

All Kidding Aside is a Harry Potter fanfic that takes place during the time of the Marauders were in school together with Lily and Snape. Notably, Snape has no real role in the story unlike most other fics written in this era, and is firmly focused on the Marauders, particularly the relationship between Sirius and Remus.


The story begins with Lily observing Sirius and Remus, who constantly make jokes about being a couple or being attracted to one another. This then causes Lily to wonder what exactly is going on between Remus and Sirius. When Lily actually asks them in front of the other Marauders at first things are fine, but then begin to spiral out of control when James makes the mistake of calling Sirius a liar.  This causes Sirius to react badly as he views his whole family as a bunch of liars, and Sirius regards it as James of accusing him of being like his family.

Sirius actually quickly forgives James, but he and Remus devise a plan to get back at James, Lily, and Peter by pretending that they actually are gay but then revealing that they aren’t so that their friends feel silly. Without spoiling anything let’s just say things don’t go as planned.

There are several reasons I love this fic and one definitely has to be the dialogue; each character’s voice comes through brilliantly and the Marauders are just as hilarious as you expect them to be.

“Padfoot, could you pass the toast?”

“No, I will not pass the toast. I refuse to pass the toast. I will have nothing of your toast passing. Toast passing is for grandmothers and Slytherins! Toast passing is vile – the work of Satan – and I will have none of it! In fact, I suggest we all partake in a boycott against passing the toast. So decrees the Great and Mysterious and Beautiful and Charming and Altogether Wondrous Sirius–”

“Here’s the toast, Peter.”

This quote just says so much about Sirius and how goofy he is in general. As the fic progresses each little bit of dialogue furthers our understanding of the characters and what kind of people they are.

Another amazing thing about this fic is that the author doesn’t forget about Peter. Peter is often the forgotten Marauder in fics, because fans don’t like him for betraying Lily and James. The author of this fic has Peter contribute just as much as the other characters; furthermore, he is actually an extremely likable character throughout the fic. Although there are occasional hints to Peter’s dark nature, the author doesn’t dwell on it, because that isn’t the focus of the story and it’s not like the Marauders know that Peter is going to be evil anyway. Plus, there has to be a reason that Peter was friends with James, Remus, and Sirius — they didn’t just put up with him, they were all close friends! The author captures this perfectly.

Overall, if you want to read a fun fic about the Marauders that will have you laughing along with them this fic is for you.