Subject: Chamber of Speculations is definitely my favorite doctorlit novel.
Posted on: 2023-02-24 15:23:01 UTC
Correcting Typos was pretty good too.
Subject: Chamber of Speculations is definitely my favorite doctorlit novel.
Posted on: 2023-02-24 15:23:01 UTC
Correcting Typos was pretty good too.
BL 10 warning for inappropriate teacher-student interactions, so please proceed carefully.
Next up: Lord Harry Potter and the Terrors of the Past!
Ooof, that reaction Justin’s parents had to Azkaban . . . It’s something that’s never addressed in canon, but yeah: after discovering the world of fantastical magic their children are being welcomed into, how do Muggle parents handle the revelation that wizard prison engages in psychological torture through soul-eating monsters? Or that dragons, giant spiders, and other predators are real? Or that there’s a secret cult of wizard supremacists who will absolutely take over the Muggle world if ever given the chance? Wizard society is so blasé about that stuff, but the Muggle parents must dread their kids leaving every year, once they find out some of the darker elements . . .
You had me worried there, when the Malfoys walked out of the headmaster’s office without Harry somehow, uh, socking it to them? But I’m glad Dobby still winds up freed, and will be appearing as the grizzled veteran against Lily Potter’s plucky newbie in their upcoming police procedural. Together, they fight crime! Feels weird for “Potter house-elves” to even be a thing, but it makes sense in this timeline, and I’m glad they’ve been hanging out in Hogwarts all this time.
Poor Myrtle! The canon version was more angry-sad, but this one is just . . . depressed-sad. I desperately want to reach into this story and strangle Gaunt . . . Myrtle deserved so much better . . .
I’m a bit sad to see Quirrell go! It was nice, seeing him get a chance to just hang around as a person, rather than just being a one-story twist villain. But I also recognize he’s maybe a bit tricky for you to write, since we don’t see much of him in canon. Oh, well. Two new teachers next year!
Okay, that last handful of paragraphs is just so nice, seeing all the kids get along with each other. Pansy Parkinson hanging out with Harry and Ginny! Zabini and Nott laughing along with Harry! Goyle giving sincere thanks over his glasses revelation! It’s just nice. I like when everybody can be friends!
“Terrors of the Past,” eh? ;_;
—doctorlit had entirely forgotten what the entrance to the Hogwarts kitchens was like, and he does NOT thank you for reminding him
Yeah, a bit of fridge horror for the posh Finch-Fletchleys. I think Eton is a lot safer than Hogwarts, for sure.
Yes, Dobby is freed! And now he and Lily get to Unionise All the Elves! -plays Solidarity Forever-
Lishy and Limsy are actually references to Suedom--Fishywishylishiel and Arintalerthirialimsilira. Just a bit of an Easter egg there :'D
Poor Myrtle indeed. And as promised, the... bonus? It's just more heartbreak, honestly. You don't have to read it :P
Yep! Two new teachers! Lupin and........a special agent ;)
I'm glad you like the kids getting along. We're trying to go for a more organic house unity :P
Thank you for reading, and yes, year 3 is called the Terrors of the Past because... well, you'll see!
I did not catch the reference in the elf names! House-elf names are tricky, because we just don't hear that many in canon, but I think "Lishy and Limsy" definitely have the right feel to them!
I, uh. I just want to strangle Tom, real quick. I'll give him back when I'm done! I promise! But right now, it is strangling hour. Real quick.
A special agent, you say? I am excite!
—doctorlit is excite
Goes without saying that despite having a darker setting, this version of the HP universe feels also much more human. I'm not 100% sold on how you had Dumbledore be so open with what happened with Gridewald, since that's a part of his past Dumbledore doesn't really speak abou in canon... but perhaps his sister never died in this version of the universe, so he's less scared of his past? I wonder.
Because they had to get a Severance before their legendary duel, the bond itself isn't secret anymore after all these years. Additionally, the bond itself probably would've lent itself to a different confrontation with Ariana: since Grindelwald and Albus were united in running away and couldn't really fight one another because of the bond, the confrontation with Aberforth was more 2v1 than a 3-way duel. Grindelwald and Aberforth blame each other, while Albus still blames himself regardless of whether or not his spell was the one that killed Ariana.
That means there's a different dirty secret surrounding this relationship with Grindelwald that Dumbledore is carrying, when he tells Harry about how being led astray by love is an incredibly human experience. :P It might be easy to guess it if you pay attention to the Grindelwald storyline and the situation in Europe in contrast with Britain, but the reveal will come in 7th year!
Thanks for reading! I'm glad you like how the world feels despite the darker setting. :)
Warning for blood, knives, kids getting injured, and a character using some gross & racially-charged terms to address Hermione. Please read at your own discretion.
Man, I don’t know if my empathy is broken or what, but I still feel bad for Astoria, even after this chapter, with what she tried to do to Hermione. Her actions are awful, but she’s still an eleven-year-old in chronic pain, raised with delusions that she could fix her illness through harmful ritual instead of medical treatment . . . poor thing. She needs some major psychological help, in the immediate future.
Lockhart, on the other hand . . . drops Lockhart in the compost pile at work He was seriously willing to let Hermione get killed just to get a juicier plot for his novel? To say nothing of the fact that he apparently got overpowered by the same eleven-year-old twice. And that’s not getting into that COMMENT he makes after his mind is wiped. Ugh. Just. I’m glad he’s met with the same fate as his canon self, though I would have been plenty happy seeing accidentally dropped off of every available rooftop in Hogsmeade, consecutively.
Oof, Quirrell has developed a most unfortunate track record for getting involved with the villains’ plots so far. Maybe in this timeline, the Dark Arts position is cursed, not to see a new teacher every year, but for the teacher to get in harm’s way due to some awful person every year. Then again, this Quirrell still has a pretty decent track record compared to the original, what with the whole “continuing to draw breath” deal, so he shouldn’t complain too much! I mean, at the very least, he can’t complain right now anyway, since his mouth got vanished.
—doctorlit is sorry for making two Hobbit references in a row, but there aren’t a lot of number references to made in the mid-teens
No, your empathy's fine! Astoria cuts a very pathetic figure in spite of the horrible things she's done. She is, as you mentioned, eleven and very much manipulated into putting faith before... well, the magical equivalent of science. Not to mention that even the high cost of the ritual is payable for her because her upbringing doesn't view people like Hermione--or even other Purebloods who "break the rules"--as people. People have failed her at every step of the way, and this is the consequence.
Lockhart, on the other hand, is just gross :P And Quirrell continues to be useless :'D But better that than dead, like in canon! I guess?
Thank you for reading! The last chapter is up now, too. I'll link it above.
I dare say this is a worthy alternate version of the Chamber of Secrets confrontation. Read very smoothly, too, so well done!
I'm glad it was a good alternative confrontation! There will be danger noodle fighting in later years, don't worry ;)
it sort of goes without saying that he'd use them at some point against our heroes!
But I'll make sure to warn for the relevant chapters!
Seems an odd detention choice for Snape. I wonder if he actually wanted to get the trio near the victims, so they would have a chance to search for clues, since they were the only ones actually making any progress? Or maybe just to redirect their investigation to an area less populated by gigantic spiders?
Wooooooow, I’m generally not a fan of creating censored/dumbed down versions of books for kids, but uh. Wowee wow wow, I think I can see why the school library edition of the Tome of Avalon has some, uh. Redacted content! Children don’t need to be thinking about cutting hands or exchanging blood! I really hope St. Mungo’s has a good way of treating HIV! Wow, this frigging society, man. Oh, I did like the detail that Molly Weasley’s admonishment from Chamber, about not trusting things that shouldn’t be speaking, has wound up inside the Tome in this timeline! It’s definitely the only sensible line we’ve seen from the book so far . . .
Man. Man. It really was Astoria all along . . . and I didn’t suspect her until this previous chapter! You really had me fooled this time. Not that I tend to be good at solving mysteries as I read them . . . I want to feel sympathetic towards Astoria, with how sick she is, so I hope there was a bit more motive behind all this beyond framing Harry and removing Dumbledore. Much as I want to read the next chapter right away, it’s getting close to work time, so I’ll have to hold off until another meal . . . Sorry I fell behind reading these, but last week got very busy towards the end, and I really wasn’t home at all!
—doctorlit hopes Astoria gets to live at least as long as her canon counterpart
Life gets busy; fic can wait! I always look forward to reading your feedback, no matter how belated it might feel to you. :)
I reckon it was a mix of "keep Harry out of trouble", "help Madam Pomfrey deal with her incredible workload", "give Harry a chance to uncover the truth", and "punish Harry by having him clean bedpans". Severina certainly knows how to make her help feel like torture :'D
The line about trusting sapient objects comes from Arthur Weasley, but yes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And yeah, blood magic isn't really something you want the kids to read about for school, haha.
You'll find out next chapter what her motives are. I think she's still a bit sympathetic even if she's doing terrible things. I do plan for her to live for a while yet! She also has a character arc to go through, even if it's not as dramatic as other people (read: Draco)'s!
Thank you again for taking the time to review!
I'm still afraid the last bit is goign to get the Golden Trio in a lot of trouble.
Oh man, we’re getting close to the end now, aren’t we? I see that both the protagonists and I were wrong about Lockhart, which means . . . I don’t even want to think about what it means, I’ve probably already gone over any speculation I could make in past comments anyway. I am ready to lay hands on teenage Riddle now, I don’t care that he was a minor at the time, the idea that he sacrificed his best friend for some blood purity nonsense . . . I want to slap his prepubescent face so hard, he sees the insides of his own toes. Congrats, Lily; you’ve created a version of Riddle that I hate more than Voldemort!
On the other end of the emotional spectrum, I don’t know if you intended for this to be humorous or not, but I was literally laughing out loud when the beautiful, silvery doe Patronus steps daintily out of the forest . . . and then hisses out Sev’s smarmy voice! Like, I know that’s just the way Patronuses function, but the juxtaposition just destroyed me. It was very early in the morning, so maybe I wasn’t entirely cogent yet . . . Another detail I liked was Ron using Mordred’s name akin to the way U.S. speakers use Benedict Arnold’s as a shorthand for “traitor.”
They set off again, and now the trees were starting to feel a little more friendlier, relatively speaking.
Either “friendlier” or “more friendly” is less redundant.
—doctorlit is professionally obligated to say, “No chocolate for dogs!”
Haha, yes, poor Myrtle! I mean, in the books, Riddle used the basilisk to kill her--though jury's out on how deliberate that was. This is definitely a lot more personal, though, and I hope it tells you something about the kind of politician Lord Gaunt is.
I don't know if I intended the juxtaposition, but if it's funny, good!
According to the Purityworld worldbuilding, the strongest Pureblood swear is "Mordred the Betrayer". So Ron's still using the curses like how a lot of folks who don't necessarily grow up with Christianity still say stuff like "Jesus" and "oh my god".
Thanks for catching the redundancy! The mystery will be solved next chapter ;)
Well now, nothing can make me doubt my own suspicions of Lockhart like the main characters also suspecting Lockhart much too early! There’s going to be some kind of twist . . . then again, Lockhart seems to be rather unhealthy, all of a sudden . . . Okay, I just reread the scene where Hermione heard Lockhart and Astoria through the door . . . Is she the one draining his magic? And if she’s the attacker, is her magic draining so quickly that she’s still growing weaker over time, even after draining an adult wizard and a bunch of Pureblood kids?! Holy crow, I am boggled . . .
Oh no, the inevitable misunderstanding due to English pronouns being ambiguous and simplistic! And due to Lockhart and Draco both having really nice hair! Still, I’m not totally sympathetic to the Golden Trio on that one . . . the Polyjuice gambit feels less justified in this timeline, somehow. (Also, I’m not sure I ever really grokked just how short the timeframe for Polyjuice is. No wonder Crouch, Jr. had to keep it with him in a flask all day!)
I understand why you use so much British slang terms in this story, and usually, I can figure out the meaning from the context. But boy oh boy, did I sit through a moment of dread this chapter while I looked up what “doing a bunk” meant. I guess I should have known, considering canon!Lockhart tried to fly the coup when things got scary, but it sounded so much like a euphemism for drugs or something . . .
Oh, your Dumbledore gets angry! I like seeing an angry Dumbledore! He shouldn’t be chill during a moment like this. I am curious to learn his reasoning for letting Lockhart run the investigation in the first place, and letting things get this bad. He must have had some goal in mind, even if it was just to out Lockhart as a plagiarist/scammer . . .
And now Draco’s been attacked. I still can’t quite shake the idea that all of these attacks are happening purely to frame Harry, but that feels like a little much. Plus, Myrtle is the only one who knows about the fight Harry and Draco had, and she couldn’t have left the Chamber to tell anyone, so it might just be a coincidence after all.
Aha! Spooder time! But no animate car to save the day, this time . . .
One typo: “. . . his notebook clutched white-knucled in his hands.”
—doctorlit and the Chamber of Speculations
I can't confirm or deny your suspicions, but ;)))
It does feel less justified, yes, because Malfoy was actually cooperating with them. They wanted to use it anyway just to see what the Slytherins were saying behind closed doors, because they still don't trust Malfoy, and so they have to face the inevitable fallout for when Malfoy finds out they were spying on him.
I think even in the American Deathly Hallows McGonagall told the students Snape has "done a bunk" after she chased him out. But that's my kid brain remembering weird details like that. But yeah, British slang can get pretty strange :'D
It was mostly to out Lockhart like in canon, yeah, and to give him something productive to do. But given that Lockhart himself has motive to delay the investigation, it's no wonder that it stalled. I'm of the opinion that Dumbledore knows a lot, but he's not omniscient. He doesn't know who the real culprit is, just that they're caught up in the Old Ways of the Circle of Avalon.
:)))) Time to visit Aragog indeed!
Thanks for catching the typo!
Correcting Typos was pretty good too.
Fantastic Beasts and How to Mind Them
doctorlit and the Face of Stone
doctorlit and the Chamber of Speculations
doctorlit and the Prisoners of Work Obligations
doctorlit and the Goblet of 2% Milk
doctorlit and the Order of Being Sad That His Singing Voice Is Worse Now
doctorlit and the Fully Read Prints
doctorlit and the Deathly Typos
followed by a poorly planned cell phone game, and finally
doctorlit, the Worst Man-Child
—the hard part for doctorlit was not making EVERY entry self-deprecating
So, I had to refresh myself on Tom Riddle’s family history, as I had apparently forgotten a lot of it . . . In canon, Marvolo Gaunt is the name of Riddle’s maternal grandfather, and Riddle killed his own paternal father, then charmed Morfin to take credit for that. So, first question: is the “Lord Gaunt” on the Wizengamot the grandfather, or Tom Riddle/Voldemort himself, taking his ancestor’s name? And second, gosh. Assuming the situation with Morfin is the same as in canon, that would mean Riddle is the one who killed his father . . . but does that mean he also killed Myrtle? When they were such good friends in that earlier memory? That’s hard for me to wrap my head around. Was he just faking the friendship? But then, why act so antagonistically towards Abraxus?
Aw man, of course Hagrid and Aragog are still getting scapegoated. A little harder sell this time, though! Spiders feed by draining fluids from their victims, which would presumably leave a human body kind of dried out after a giant spider fed on them. For Myrtle to have “practically nothing left of her,” a spider’s mandibles are entirely the wrong sort of mouth to have caused that level of damage. But of course, it’s the Wizarding World, and no one is going to listen to the protests of a half-giant . . .
—doctorlit can’t imagine how Myrtle’s parents must feel, sending their daughter off to a magic school only for her to wind up mysteriously disappearing, and then later dead . . .
So, first question: is the “Lord Gaunt” on the Wizengamot the grandfather, or Tom Riddle/Voldemort himself, taking his ancestor’s name?
The latter. He literally "den[ied] [his] father and refuse[d] [his] name", to quote Shakespeare.
And second, gosh. Assuming the situation with Morfin is the same as in canon, that would mean Riddle is the one who killed his father . . . but does that mean he also killed Myrtle? When they were such good friends in that earlier memory?
That’s hard for me to wrap my head around. Was he just faking the friendship?
But then, why act so antagonistically towards Abraxus?
Some people, when given an opportunity to become the bully, seize it with two hands. Just look at the TERF-who-shall-not-be-named!
Of course Hagrid isn't guilty. We'll see more about this in future chapters! Thanks for reading!
Well, my gosh. I never, ever thought I would be able to unironically type the sentence, “I feel so much solidarity with Gregory Goyle right now,” but here we are. I know it was just an off-hand joke, but I’m glad he got his vision fixed! And I love that something legitimately good came of the protagonists doing underhanded stuff.
The conversation between Lockhart and Quirrell in the hospital wing is hilarious; I love how Lockhart can be so wildly off base one minute (“Potters are too honorable . . . would a twelve-year-old boy know of blood magic?”), and so observant the next (“Potter wouldn’t invoke Mother Magic or draw the Knight’s Mark”). The “fun sponge” comments are funny too, both childishly stupid and weirdly insightful.
Oh man, I totally forgot about Astoria’s blood malediction. It’s coming on hard in this timeline, considering it doesn’t get her until 2019 in canon! (Honestly, I forgot she’s Draco’s wife in canon too, despite just reading Cursed Child last year . . .) That’s why she’s been so weak lately. And the symptoms seem similar to cancer . . . Man, I feel bad for ever suspecting her in the attacks. I hope St. Mungo’s can do something for her. She’s too young to go down like this, and it’s so sad to hear her so deluded about the Mother Magic stuff, that she’s not even seeking any scientific means of recovery
. . . Okay. Oooooooooookay, I take back every nice thing I said about this version of Lockhart. (Not that I’ve much nice to say about the canon Lockhart, but you know what I mean.) Lockhart can just die right now. And that’s putting aside the fact that he’s clearly the attacker, and that he was torturing the wizarding world equivalent of an eleven-year-old cancer patient, the way he’s starting to act around Hermione, he can just please die forever. Can he die . . . now, please? This next chapter, please? Pretty please?
Oh, I was going to point out that it feels pretty silly that the entire wizarding community has failed to notice that the plots of a famous, best-selling author are rip-offs/libel of real family histories, especially with how tightly knit the pureblood houses are, and that it took a bunch of 12-year-olds chatting about it at school to put the pieces together. But then I remembered this is the Harry Potter universe, and 80% of the adults are self-interested morons blinded by adherence to arbitrary traditions and social mores. And then I remembered what I literally brought up last chapter: that Lockhart is real good memory charms. So. Less a plothole, more a feature.
—doctorlit seconds Hermione’s stance that Hogwarts needs a mixed-culture literature class
I'm glad you were able to relate to Goyle. The goal is to make the Slytherins more personable while also still taking most of the named ones being raised in wrongheaded bigotry into account!
Lockhart is fun to write, even the creepy parts. He's comedic and also horrible! You'll have to wait a bit to see what happens to him, though ;P
You've got a good point about her searching for a faith-based healing rather than a more scientific one (though who knows how wizard science really works :P). It's very similar to how some people (esp. in some fundamentalist denominations) eschew modern medicine for prayer and faith, much to the detriment of their own health.
Yes, sometimes the grown-ups are stupid, or just Don't Talk About Things. And in HP-verse they're especially bullheaded about being stupid and not talking about things!