Subject: Chapter Six!
Posted on: 2023-01-11 02:19:22 UTC
BL9 warning for this chapter, since BL9
Subject: Chapter Six!
Posted on: 2023-01-11 02:19:22 UTC
BL9 warning for this chapter, since BL9
Hope people are staying warm because I'm cold and going back to bed haha.
Uh, yeah, no way Lavender wrote that, regardless of what the handwriting looks like. Oh no, I'd hate for Neville to be the next victim! Fred and George, being into reading? Feels a little weird, but then, they are all about flaunting rules and social norms, and if the Pureblood community is going to disown their family, why not partake in a little Muggle literature? Especially a story like 1984, all about surviving under oppressive systems? I kinda dig it, would book club with the Weasley twins. I enjoyed the scene in the Slytherin common room as well, hearing the spoiled kids' view on things. Even if they were dropping that m-slur left and right. Also, I can tell I've been reading this AU too long, because when Lockhart dropped that "even with hair as short as yours!" trash, I actually felt offended for Snape.
Okay, sorry, not much of a review this time, but that's because I got distracted this chapter by TOTALLY SOLVING THIS MYSTERY. I puzzled over the pieces, and I'm confident I've identified the attacker. I'm going to put it behind spoiler bars so I don't ruin it for anyone else. Lily, please don't confirm or deny, because I still want to be surprised once we reach the end of this year, but yeah. Here's my theory: Les spoiler
—doctorlit, being a sleuthy sort, for once
Fred and George really would have an interesting book club! I bet they'd love Captain Underpants, if it existed back then (the first one of those books came out in 1997! Wow). I think realistically they probably just picked up the reference from an older Muggleborn student who's been reading these books on the sly, but I could see them sitting down and actually reading it as a middle finger to Pureblood Culture, too!
The Slytherins definitely have A Take on the events, yes!
I'm so glad you felt some sympathy for Sev there ;P That was the point!
I'm not going to confirm or deny any of your theory. I am going to chuckle ominously, stroke my fake Dumbledore beard, and offer you a lemon drop.
You managed to make Draco do something that would normally be OOC for him... and make it make perfectly sense! Kudos for that, and for the rest of the chapter!
I wonder' what you're preparing about Sirius...
You're handling the current colaboration between the Golden Trio and Malfoy very well: both parties are interested in sonving the matter for their own reasons, but they still don't trust each other. Clever way to still have the Polyjuice Potion plot still happen, too! Though, to be fair, I'm not sure they actually still need it considering at least Harry and Draco can take each other out of the prime suspect list. (Nice tweak with the Bludger chasing Draco and not harry, but still having it hit Harry in the end!)
All in all, you're keeping up the excellent worldbuilding. Good on you!
Question. is "could convince you the sky was green" actually an English saying, or is it some clever wordplay? Japanese and maybe other Asian languages have a murkier line between blue and green - there was a Detective Conan case that used it as part of a plot about solving the dfferences between three discrepant witnesses' accounts (the suspect was eported as having a black shirt by one, a blue one by another and a green one by the third. The black shirt was due to a tinted widnow, and the green/blue problem was because the witness was an old person who still used the word that used to mean both)
Yeah, at this point Harry's sticking to the Potion because sunk cost fallacy (they're already more than halfway through brewing it!) and wanting to know what the Slytherins in general are saying when there are no Gryffindors staring them down.
As Linstar mentioned, it's not an actual saying. The blue-green issue in Chinese actually also includes black when applied to clothes, though, so that shirt anecdote is pretty amusing. I actually wrote one of my agents having a conversation with the Queen Anne's Lace about it. But now that you mention it, of course a Slytherin would try to use 青 as an excuse to suggest not all cultures see colour the same way, ergo colours are a social construct, ergo the sky is green. Checkmate Gryffindors!
It was called Through the Language Glass, and was very interesting.
As in, "I wouldn't believe them if they told me the sky is blue", or water is wet, or whatever. Though to what extent anyone, anywhere, ever actually uses these long-winded "traditional sayings" except ironically is open to question; I've never heard any variant in the wild.
Often in the context of stuff like "Studies say [something everyone already knows]. And in other words, water is wet."
But yeah, this was wordplay based on the fact that a sufficiently cunning Slytherin could hypothetically get you to believe something against the evidence of your own eyes, hence not using "wouldn't trust them even if they said the sky was blue".
Incidentally, I've also heard "if they said the sky was blue, I'd still go out to check".
In IrregularS, my crackfic crossover between Madoka Magica and Lyrical Nanoha (which I still have to move from the Pit to AO3, now that I think about it.)
It went something like that, with the context that Sayaka had been convinced that Nanoha's group was against them while Madoka had realized they weren't.
"Come on, Madoka, they're shady! It's as clear as the sky!" "Today's cloudy, Sayaka."
Oh my gosh, I love that Quirrell and Lockhart are seriously diving into this mystery solving, with Lockhart playing good cop and Quirrell playing the cop-who-really-doesn’t-want-to-do-this-but-can’t-refuse-Dumbledore’s-request-due-to-his-questionable-choices-last-year cop. Poor Quirrell probably could have done a decent job if he was on his own or taking the lead, but of course Lockhart couldn’t allow anyone else in the spotlight. Then again, at least this Quirrell still gets to breathe, so he’s at least ahead of his canon counterpart? Oh, and side note, but I love that Lockhart just dishes out house points left and right for answering basic questions. I bet the hourglasses get way more attention this year, just because Lockhart is throwing random amounts at the board literally every class period . . .
Ha! Draco is slowly acclimating into being Part Of The Friend Group and he doesn’t even notice!
Oh, wow. Myrtle is, uh. Dead after all. And inside a crystal ball? Huh. She doesn’t seem like the type who would have been seeking New Blood initiation, so I wonder why she was even down there in the first place. Honestly, it’s kind of cool to see Myrtle in those flashback scenes, having a friend, pranking students, just running and talking . . . Her character in canon is so one-note (which I know is partly just the mechanics of ghost minds in this universe; she was a sad teen when she died and she can’t emotionally develop further) that it’s nice see her alive, even if just for a few snippets. As for her friend . . . I keep forgetting that important detail that Tom/Marvolo/Voldemort is half-blood himself, and it’s so weird to see him getting bullied by a past Malfoy, knowing how Lucius winds up under the yoke decades later. Losing Myrtle must have been quite a blow to his psyche . . . It’s kind of gross that he’s thrown his lot in with the bullies in the present, considering how he and Myrtle were treated as children. (Side note about Myrtle throwing things at the golden trio, though: I don’t think Potterverse ghosts can interact with solid matter at all? Just liquid and gas?)
Hm. Dobby wanted Harry out of Hogwarts in canon, and enchanted the bludger to attack him. I’m guessing Dobby is responsible for the enchantment this time too, since it went after Draco, and Dobby wants Draco safe? But then . . . would a house-elf be able to convince himself to cause harm to someone in their wizard family through greater good arguments?
Wait, Lavender got dunked on? I can see the “societal transgressions” in the other two victims: unladylike sports for Pansy and voicing equality for Penelope. But if anything, Lavender was being too dedicated to Pureblood customs, by trying to ship her fellow 12-year-olds due to them displaying checks notes completely normal human behavior. So why would the magic thief target her? Are they intentionally trying to point the trail at Harry, and found out about the argument at the Gryffindor table earlier? Or . . . desperately tries to squint past face-blindness I honestly can’t remember, is your Hermione black? If she’s white, I could kind of imagine someone mistaking Lavender for Hermione in the dark, but I find it borderline impossible to tell human faces apart, so I I’m literally incapable of knowing how nonsensical this theory is. Unless Hermione is black in which case it definitely falls apart . . . Unless Lavender is also black . . .
“No one could possibly measure up.” I love this line so much. That “impossible yardstick” is a necessary element of any hierarchy of social control, because without that, there would be no justification for looking down on anyone—and without that, what would be the point of the hierarchy?
—doctorlit had it in his mind that bludgers were just solid wood, but he just looked it up and they’re made of iron?! Like!?!?!? How high is player mortality!!!?!?!!
Oh yeah, Quirrell's the one actually doing any investigating of these two and Lockhart is just strutting around telling people they're on the job! Honestly, their buddy cop comedy potential is just through the roof. And yeah, Lockhart's like me as a teacher; I also give out points for everything because it's hard to convince the kids to raise their hands in class! Though I like to think I know more about my subject matter than Lockhart does about his...
Draco not noticing the Real Power of Friendship while he's busy trying to one-up Ron :'D
You will see why Myrtle's down there eventually. (I'm kinda tempted to show you a handy-dandy backstory piece I posted on fail_fandomanon a while back, but I think I want to see your reactions without the weight of dramatic irony, so I'll give it to you after all's said and revealed.) As for throwing things--Peeves is a poltergeist and he can throw things, so I guess I gave Myrtle some poltergeisty elements? That being said, poltergeists aren't really ghosts. So I'm going say that I'm using SPN rules of "ghosts can move things if they think hard enough about it", and most Hogwarts ghosts are content to drift along. Maybe the Fat Friar moves some cups once in a while but it's just too much effort!
Re: Dobby: you'll just have to wait and see, I guess!
Hermione in this fic is Black; Lavender is not. So one of your theories is right, and one is not!
Thank you for reading!
Yep, there it is. No surprise the birthday incident has made everyone suspicious of Harry now. I'm almost glad, though, because it gave Harry the chance to teach Draco about friendship, something he really needed to hear. I liked that scene quite a bit; it's something that Draco should learn in Hogwarts, but won't because of his upbringing. I hope he takes it to heart!
Aha! All this time, I assumed the Tome of Avalon dated back to the Arthurian era, because of the name. But it's only from the founding of Hogwarts? Even the title is a lie! It's even less of an authoritative text than I gave it credit for! And I'm not at all surprised it's the result of a bunch of already influential people writing themselves and others like them to be superior.
A painful line to read: "Despite being a first-year, his eyes were already burning with old hatred." It's where prejudice comes from, but it's still painful to see children so warped by it, even in fiction.
Hey, Clearwater gets a moment! I like that; she never got to do much in canon. She almost seems a little too progressive to be interested in Percy, but I guess Percy isn't exactly complete trash either.
She can change him. Oh, and even Quirrell gets a little moment! It's impressive to see him stand up to anyone, but maybe he's got a slightly more discerning eye for grifters after last year? Or maybe Lockhart is just so opaque that the rest of the staff are already tired and distrustful of him . . .
Aaaaaand yeah, I like the skeletons, too, though I wonder how they "work" exactly.
—doctorlit is pet-sitting, and is currently being used as a pillow by two dogs
Well, you know what they say... friendship is magic! ;D
The Tome of Avalon not being as old as it claims it is, as well as being created by people with a vested interest in appearing like the Chosen Elect over the vast majority of mages, as well as containing nothing but just... some guy's belief on how mages came about and what to do about it... it's almost like the Mother Magic-worshipping religion of New Avalon's not actually representative of what actually happened in Arthurian times and is just some creepy cult appropriating some mythology for social control, eh?
Yeah. It's really sad to see kids raised to hate.
Yes, Penelope got to do something for once! And same for Quirrell. I think it's less of him being wiser about grifters and more about Lockhart being annoying and incompetent at investigating, though! Buddy cop blustering Lockhart and Done With This Quirrell was surprisingly fun to write, even if it's not something Harry focuses on!
Thanks again for reading!
BL9 warning for this chapter, since BL9
Another, missing student from the past? Could that be Myrtle again? She is Muggleborn. And if she’s still considered a missing person, that would mean she didn’t even come back as a ghost this time . . . Man, Myrtle can’t catch a break in any timeline, it seems! I have to say, Lily, I can’t make heads or tails of the mystery this year. (Not that I saw the finale of Chamber of Secrets coming, either.) Actually, it doesn’t feel to me like Myrtle/the other victim is even related, since she went missing, rather than having her hair and magic removed. I’m calling red herring on that one! My brain wants to blame Lockhart, but I feel like that’s too easy, and he was only a secondary antagonist in canon anyway. (He again appears as a legit authority figure in this chapter, so he feels even less threatening than he did in canon.) Dobby said Draco is up to something this year, but I can’t imagine it would involve attacking pureblood witches, especially not one of his oldest friends, as Hermione pointed out. Luna mentioning Astoria being ill piqued my curiosity a bit, but with her aunt being so gung ho about Pureblood culture, I can’t imagine she would attack a pureblood either. The only real clue I can see is that Pansy was subverting cultural norms by wanting to play Quidditch . . . so someone who’s overly invested in maintaining pureblood standards wanted to punish her? OR! Oh my gosh, I forgot . . . Pansy is the one who called out Lockhart’s plagiarism in his class . . . maybe he wanted to silence her? Except I assume there are going to be further victims throughout the year, and I don’t think even Lockhart would be dumb enough to make an accident happen to everyone who challenges the details of his books . . . Hm. You’ve got me stumped, Lily!
Yeah, I have to agree with Luna. Draco is a mean boy, but I feel like the effigy rather pushed the boundaries of what’s appropriate. If only Harry understood the workings of the Ironic Overpower, he would have realized Draco or someone else would end up seeing the effigy. (Dang, Luna would make a great PPC agent, wouldn’t she?) I’m sure Harry and friends will see repercussions over this, and honestly, they should. At the same time, though, I’m glad Harry kept Hermione unaware of what happened with Draco, so she could enjoy her birthday.
—doctorlit has definitely never burned any politicians in effigy, and anything his high school economics teacher says is a flagrant lie
I'm happy there will be consequences in-story, but that... kinda didn't feel like an Harry thing to me. Granted, that is a very Weasley Twins thing and they were involved, but I still have the feeling Harry would've considered it as going too far.
Then again, this is a an "early" and alternate Harry who might simply not have realized the implications. And I haven't touched anything HP related in years so I might be misremembering the canon one too...
As for the rest, it countinues being intriguing!
In this world he has a closer tie to a Muggleborn—his mother, who Malfoy has also called a Mudblood before, back in first year. Hearing Hermione, his friend, be called the same after all that Hermione sacrificed for the sake of a friendship with Malfoy last year—I think his anger got the best of him again just like with the pudding in the opening chapter. He wanted Hermione to have catharsis and he wanted to hurt Malfoy without actually hurting him. The effigy was his first idea and all his friends ran with it (the Weasley twins especially).
So I do agree that while this might be a little too violent for Canon!Harry, Purityworld!Harry had been dealing with bullshit from the magical world for a year already and he’s lashing out. The optics aren’t great, but I promise that this is going to come back to bite him.
Thanks for reading!
Myrtle, a red herring? Hmmm... could I interest you in some salmon salmon?
As for your suspect lineup... I am definitely picturing you jotting down notes in a little notebook like it's a game of Cluedo and I hope you don't disabuse me of that notion! Granted, it's just one victim so far, so there's more clues to come.
Luna is definitely another more moderate wizarding culture-based voice. She has a pretty unique take on the world both in canon and in here. And she would fit right in at HQ!
Consequences are indeed coming... next chapter, in fact! Thanks for reading!
"Now, now, would Mother Magic want you to spoil your language with such uncouth words? Of course not! Mother Magic loves all Her creations . . ."
Lockhart . . . is good, actually? Lockhart is just a nice guy? Just a good, reasonable fellow who is nice. Well, okay! I can get behind Lockhart being—
". . . even the ones so deprived and unfortunate not to have learnt of Her until they turned eleven! We cannot be beastly towards these poor Muggleborn creatures; they simply do not know any better!"
—trash, he's trash, straight back to the bin he goes!
Okay, but seriously, I do actually like this version of Lockhart. He's still got the narcissism problem the canon one had, but there's just a teeny, tiny pinch of actual responsible authority figure to him. I'll probably be eating these words by school year's end, since he's clearly a plagiarist of some fashion, but at least at first glance, your version is a step ahead of his canon self! I initially assumed Quirrell would be sacked for his involvement with Greengrass, and that Lockhart was his replacement like in canon. But then Quirrell showed up on page, and I was like, oh. Oh. Lockhart is here to replace Greengrass! Wow. And also, Lockhart is . . . Wizarding Joseph Campbell, apparently? With that line about "archetypes" . . . wild! Also, side note: it feels so utterly bizarre for Quirrell to just be . . . on campus . . . walking around and talking to people? Since he was relegated to only the first year in canon, it doesn't feel like he really belongs to Hogwarts, like he's not a valid member of the staff, or something? It will feel weird going forward, for him to just be. Around. A guy.
That bullying scene was hard to read, seeing students from multiple houses all sounding like Slytherins . . . and then you had to twist the knife even harder by revealing that the Hufflepuff bully is Cedric Diggory!? Why Lily!?!? Poor Colin! It's very telling that Zhang gave Colin permission to photograph her hair, but all these boys freaked out and tried to stop Colin anyway . . . like they see Zhang's hair as more theirs than hers!
Pansy is, again, rather nice, and I'm glad to see she's going to have a role to play in revealing Lockhart's deception (assuming this isn't some magical sleep that's going to leave her unconscious all year like the basilisk was doing in canon.) [I hope she gets to play a whole bunch of Quidditch this year] is what I was planning type until Draco had to go full entitled rich boy all over her plans. Crappy kid.
Huh. I see the Deathly Hallows still exist, but with an entirely new backstory, and probably a different name. I'm curious to see whether they actually matter down the road, or whether they're just curious magical artifacts in this timeline.
—doctorlit does the barest minimum of search bar research, and realizes "Zhang" is probably Cho Chang with a less cringy and lazy surname
It has been Very Odd to be writing Quirrell into second year, not gonna lie. And given that we don't really have a sense of what he taught in first year, I can't even really figure out whether or not he was a reasonable DADA professor. According to Pottermore he was originally the Muggle Studies professor? And then he went out searching for Voldy and got himself an unwelcome hitchhiker and became the DADA prof (probably because... Charity Burbage was hired to replace him when he went on sabbatical???) and the rest is history. So yeah, difficult to write him as a teacher because we never really got to see him teaching in the books.
Anyway, because he used to teach a milder subject like Muggle Studies, originally I was going to have Lockhart as DADA like in the books with Quirrell replacing Greengrass. But then I realised it would be funnier for Lockhart to replace Greengrass because he's actually half-qualified for C&E by simply being a pompous windbag. So the decision was also partly due to Rule of Funny.
Well, this is a world where the bigotry that has nested for a long time in Slytherin house has spread through a lot of places! So even other Houses aren't exempt. And Cedric Diggory's in for quite a character arc to get from here to the boy we see in 4th year!
You'll have to wait and see about Pansy :P And yeah, the Hallows are going to matter a bit more, actually, because this world doesn't have Voldemort/Marvolo Gaunt making Horcruxes (again, losing your nose is bad for poll numbers!) and the Hallows already being possessed by him, Dumbledore, and Harry in the books will... be very relevant in the latter years in this series.
And yes, Qiu Zhang is Cho Chang in the Chinese translation so I just went with that!
I've always had it in my head he was at least decently competent; Voldemort instructed Barty Crouch Jr. to actually teach Harry how to fight, so that they could duel together at the end of year. He may have given Quirrell similar instructions during year one. But it does get complicated. As you said, it wasn't Quirrell's main topic of expertise, and since Harry was a first-year at the time, it was probably a lot of basic groundwork and theory, a lot like Umbridge's version of the class. And your version of Quirrell didn't even have Voldemort inside his head to instruct him at all . . . Yeah, it's tricky! : (
—doctorlit has forgotten more of the Potterverse than he realized . . .
But now I am up-to-date, having finished the first one and even left a review of it! =)
The second one is shaping up very interestingly indeed. The detail of which Professor is always different in this universe is an amusing one and obviously very thematically accurate. I was also very impressed by the scope of the first chapter! So many characters, and each one distinct in their voice and point of view! Very well-crafted, and it was fun to read.
Looking forward to the rest of the year!
That first chapter is quite intimidating, length-wise, but I'm glad it worked for you! It definitely sets up the panopticon ;)
Looking forward to your reactions about the rest of the year!
And I dare say this is becoming intriguing. It looks like this will be a completely different incident than the Chamber of Secrets - and quite fittingly, too!
Since the Chamber doesn’t have a big danger noodle and was being used for different purposes in this setting, of course the second year mystery is a little bit different! But I hope to touch on some of the same themes and moments anyway :P
Glad you like it so far!