Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Magical World of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Okay. 

This here is a big one. 

Like, the biggest. I can’t function until I write about this.

Is it even a real fandom site until I dive into the mess that is this subject?

J.K. Rowling: toot or boot?

Harry Potter shaped my childhood. It shaped many of my first experiences of the fandom world. J.K. Rowling inspired me as a woman, as a writer, and as an activist.

Is she the role model that I need now though? Or should her actions, and inaction, place her firmly in the past?

Can actions today affect the legacy that she has created?

Do we, as fans, move forward with or without J.K. Rowling?

The Beginning:

In 2007, the author J.K. Rowling revealed to fans that her character, famous wizard Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, was gay.

The thought? A-MAZE-ING.

However, the problem with that statement was that there was literally no mention of this in the books or in the movies. No hint. No indication.

Trust me, if there was, ficfans would have found it and spread it.

But it was 2007, and even earlier when she wrote the books. Maybe it was simply to early for that story to be told, I thought to myself.

Come 2016, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released.

2018, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released.

Was Dumbledore depicted as a gay man? The answer is complicated.

What level of representation do we need?

Do I believe that every queer story has to look the same? No, obviously.

I was variety and diversity. I want stories that are all about a person’s gender and sexual identities, and I want stories about queer people that hardly touch on those things because they are to busy telling other aspects of their lives.

I am really sensitive, however, when it comes to the way mainstream media represents us. I think it is to easy for an author to say they are inclusive by commenting, after seven books, that a character was gay the whole time, even when every single relationship in her books to date appeared to be heterosexual.

With seven books and eight movies, I think we as fans are very right to demand a lot from J.K. Rowling when she says that one of her characters is gay.

I was certainly the first to applaud her, I think it is a boss-ally move to make that announcement about the most powerful wizard of all time, but actions speak louder than words. J.K. Rowling had the chance to show the queer community that we would be represented in the Harry Potter world, but did she?

Opinions vary.

Certainly there are some queer vibes. Dumbledore sees Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised so like, you’ve got some desire there. Of course Harry saw his parents, so the desire does not have to be sexual (back down all you AO3 incest taggers, this is not a space for you). So really, we are still left to make that leap ourselves.

Dumbledore is gay. It is cannon. We know it, the director knows it. It really comes down to what they are willing to put in the movie.

Some say they aren’t explicitly addressing the relationship that Dumbledore and Grindelwald had because that isn’t what the story is about.

Others say that they are hiding the nature of the relationship to make the store more palatable for a larger audience.

One thing is for sure though. Eventually, Dumbledore and Grindelwald will have to meet, and then their past will be exactly what this story is about. It will be interesting, I think, to see what the franchize chooses to represent in that moment.

Will they stay true to Dumbledore’s identity as a gay man? Or will they leave just enough induendo in there to throw at fans when they raise questions over this exact issue, while still leaving their films bland enough that even the most homophobic of movie-goers will enjoy the film?

In my opinion, doing so would be a huge cop out, and a letdown to the fans that do believe in J.K. Rowling’s promise to bring more diversity into her stories. Cause on the surface, her stories are filled with straight, white, and cisgendered characters.

As fans, I think we demand more from our mainstream media now, so this story line should be handled with the utmost delicacy if the franchise wants to avoid losing the support of its LGBTQ+ fans and their wonderful allies.

But wait, there’s s’more!

While the debate about J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter universe will doubtlessly rage forever, there are tons of other books that will give us the representation we crave.

We can demand better from the people who say they want to support us, but we can also do our best to support those who are already doing a stellar job of supporting us!

Fanfiction, of course, is my go-to. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out <3.

However, here are three of my fav books that do a really lovely job of showcasing queer stories and capturing a bit of the complexities of the queer experience. I flew through these books, and am currently obsessed with Gentleman Jack on HBO.

I came for the GOT and stayed for the queer representation: story of my life.

Heads up: I do believe I will get a percentage of the sale if you buy through this link. 
If that makes you uncomfortable, then I encourage you to buy these titles through your town's 
locally owned bookstore.

M.

Drama, fics, and really good pics

: from learning about ships to writing their own, this fanfic writer talks about their Fremione obsession

Hey there ficfans, it’s finally here! A weekly segment I like to call: “A Short Look into the Many Marvelous Fanfic Writers, the Extra Exciting New Things they are Working On, and What Inherently Inspires them” but was forced to cut down to “Weekly Writer” when my friend said she would literally barf if I chose the other name. Rude.

But on with the show!

This week’s writer is new to the scene, but started out strong with an already lengthy and oh-so-popular Fremione fic starring this dynamic couple in a post-war universe, trying to navigate the twists and turns of their new lives. They bond over shared experiences and their old school-day antics, and struggle to define their changing relationship even as evil stalks this peaceful new world.

Even in the Darkest of Times is being written by MischiefProlonged, and has reached almost 70k words in less than a month. This is one author who doesn’t leave their readers hanging!

I sat down (figuratively. Don’t go meeting up with strange internet people, no matter how good the fic) with MischiefProlonged, who explained to me where their passion for this ship came from.

I think that Hermione and Fred are like perfect compliment. Hermione is always seen as this bookworm and then Fred is the prankster. But he is also super intelligent to be able to come up with all of the products for the shop he has, and Hermione can be pretty f*cking devious with all the crap she and the other two have done. So it’s like they both have the same trait but opposite reputations for them.

As MischiefProlonged had only very recently started writing fanfiction, I found myself curious about their new experiences with this crazy world.

I first found fanfiction when a special family member introduced it to me. She told me about ‘an archive of our own’ and then I got bored one day and tested it out. I used to read books, now I just read stories online. It’s a problem.

I’ve mainly stuck with the Harry Potter fandom since then because none of the other books I really enjoy seem to have a large following. Then I started looking up specific characters.

When I discovered people were writing about “ships” (and I learned what a ship was) I really got into it. I love a good romance so I got sucked into my favorite ships and just kept reading everything I could find on them.

I now know everything I ever need to about Fremione. And I still have no idea about the lingo. Someone commented on my story that they “stan” my character and I had to google it. Who the hell comes up with these words? Was it Stan? Can we call something a Kaila? I KAILA your story.

Official motion to begin using KAILA as a term. What will it mean? Only time will tell.

Someone second this motion, fast.

Next, because I am a nosy person at heart, I asked MischiefProlonged why they chose to start writing their own fic. What inspires a new user to write a 70k ode to their favorite ship?

I JUST WANTED FRED AND HERMIONE TO LOVE EACH OTHER LIKE WAS INTENDED.

Relatable.

MischiefProlonged also mentioned their frustration when reading other fanfics. It’s a feeling every fan knows all to well: you want very specific things to happen, and when they don’t, you get frustrated. Isn’t that what inspires all of us, at the end of the day?

I bring an actual f*cking plot line. That’s part of what bothers me with some fanfics is that there isn’t an actual story behind the ship. Like it’s cute at first but it doesn’t make me want to keep reading scene after scene of cute shit. I want an underlying story that will keep me intrigued.

What does the future hold for this budding writer?

In the grand scheme of things fanfiction is just something fun I got into because I was bored. It has developed into more of a hobby now that I’ve started writing my own, but it’s not something that has changed my life by any means.

I really enjoy reading other people’s stories but wish that if they started writing then they would finish it. One of my favorite stories was updated three years ago and I’m pretty pissed about it. Can I just finish it for them? I’ve got some ideas…

Oh the agony. I still cry over my favorite unfinished fics – floating forever in the land of misfics toys.

Given that I just discovered the fanfiction life a few years ago, I don’t really know where this is heading. I am mainly just a reader who comes out of the woodwork when I’m bored to gorge myself on stories.

I’m not usually one to comment on people’s stories, though now that I am writing my own I may have to start.

I think if more people got into it that would be cool because it would give me more stories to read!

My my.

So after flying through the twenty chapters currently posted of MischiefProlonged’s fic Even in the Darkest of Times, I was dying to know what is going to happen next.

Instead of begging in the comments for updates like I normally do, I had the opportunity to just flat out ask them!

Unforuntatly for us all, MischiefProlonged was not keen to share to many deets.

With my current story, I just want to keep writing until I think it can be the end. I don’t have a specific ending in mind, just certain scenes that I can write about. I’ll make ’em fit chronologically somehow.

Also who knew that smutty scenes were so much fun to write?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever write another story after this one honestly. I just love my current characters so much that if I wrote another story it would just be them doing different stuff.

Okay maybe I will write that.

That sounds fun…

Ah, the tentative wonderings of a writer who hasn’t quite realized how addicting it is to write fanfiction. It brings a joyful tear to my eye.

Any last comments, MischiefProlonged?

Can you make me famous? I feel like I could be famous.

MischiefProlonged

Honestly, after reading that wonderful fic, I believe you really could be!

I will be following MischiefProlonged on AO3, because I am eager to see what they do next!

.

Well, that’s a wrap on the Weekly Writer. Be sure to check out MischiefProlonged’s fic.

Also can we give them a shout out for those amazing photos?!

Follow me too! M. Grace. The fanfic activist. Keep track of this site’s adventure’s by clicking that follow button.

Check us out on Twitter, Insta, FB (lords why), Pinterest… we are everywhere. Like AI robot spies O.o

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M. Grace