A reply to Kamerreon's 'Why Kay dislikes Canon Harry Potter'
saber
sanzo_riven
Well, I admit that you have put forward some valid points, like the one about Dumbledore left Harry at the doorsteps, or the stereotypes of Houses. I myself find it impractical. Grouping students with similar characteristics provides them the appropriate nurture, sure, but the courses and teachers are the same, why bother? Students likely find the group they want to be in by themselves anyway.

However, most of your point, I'm afraid I have to disagree. Maybe you're a bit too harsh? They said something like "When you're worshiping the sun, it would be a sin to study its heat," didn't they? Why should we pay too much attention to the realistic aspects of the book when Harry Potter is a children book in first place? Rowling didn't make Harry subjected to rehabilitation or therapy because Harry's background is just one of the 'hardship' that every children's hero must go through when they were young! You see, does anyone ask why such a poorly educated girl like Cinderella can become a queen? Maybe as the story proceeds, Harry Potter is not such a simple children story anymore, but at the beginning, it was.

So, if you just look at Harry Potter from another viewpoint, I'm sure you can find that Rowling has her own reasons for the things she does ;), like the unpunished 'crazy stunts' or Harry's natural love for other people. You know, I like that the most ^^. I'd like to think that there are someone out there that can love naturally and unconditionally ^^. We adults do read fluffy and fairy tales sometimes for that particular reason, don't we?


There is another quite big point that I want to discuss with you. Why do you insist using the badness of the Wizarding world against Harry Potter? You must realize, surely, there's evilness everywhere, even in fairy tales. What else will the hero be against? The 'racism and the cast system', the 'crooked politicians', the bribery, the cruel professor who went unpunished... are the ones Harry and his 'gang' have to fight against and prove their prowess, aren't they? You could hardly fault Rowling for this, as you could hardly fault Snow White for making an evil witch a queen ^^. And in the end, didn't Rowling say something like, "they had made the Wizarding world a better place"?
Harry Potter series consists of only 7 books, matching Harry's 7 years, and thus the story's setting centers on Hogwarts, giving us few glimpses of the outside world. If you ask me, I'd say Rowling has done a marvelous job, giving us so many ideas for fanfiction, with all the hints she displayed ^^.
Apply the same philosophy on the limited professions case, please. That Rowling didn't have a chance to mention other professions doesn't make the Wizarding world such a pathetically limited community. I wonder about the lack of universities though. Maybe the apprentice or something will suffice?

And well, your so-called 'insufficient course' argument is quite lamb, excuse my rudeness. Did you start with calculus without learning arithmetic? And would you make the Biology students learn how to operate on human before they finish High school? Or make students learn Martial Arts because they will likely be thrown out to battle fields tomorrow? None else need saying, I believe.


And lastly, the 'endless series of plot holes' ^^. I know you likely realized your mistakes already, since you must have read the complete series, and I guess you received not few arguments for this. But it's your fault to leave this essay uncorrected ^^. However, to spare you and myself time, I'll just run through them.

+ Grindelwald was defeated by Dumbledore not because they were gay and gay must be killed. Nor Adolf Hitler should have been killed because he had ridiculous mustache and was not a mass murderer.

+ The Order didn't use Veritaserum because it was not that simple. Think about the potential of this particular potion shall we? Is everybody willing to be subjected to that? And besides, excuse me but I don't remember that having a traitor among them is something the Order was sure of.

+ Voldemort had reasons to spare Lily. Not only because of Snape but also because he was a sadistic bastard. Who says sparing Lily's life would have done her any good? There are pains worse than death.

+ That The Potters' Last Will and Testament wasn't mentioned doesn't mean there was none. That it wasn't mentioned means it wasn't worth mentioned.

+ No one sold Harry's location because no one knew and/or no one can enter. Blood ward, remember?

+ Molly Weasly at the station: surely you know how wonderful is the wizards' integrating ability. But really, do people usually believe in magic just because they see some weird people running around saying weird things? And maybe Molly asked Ginny just to placate an anxious child or something? You know how children always seek to show off their knowledge.

+ None other than Voldemort found the Chamber because no one was crazy enough to think the entrance was in the GIRLS' bathroom? I'm just kidding ^^. But it was difficult to find so that must be why. You do realize your questions are clashing terribly, right? And hey, you're underestimating the most brilliant student of Hogwarts in centuries!

+ No one ever asked Myrtle how she died because they were too busy running away? Kidding again ^^. This, I agree with you. But didn't you think about how the School board was too happy that the case was closed to bother investigating more?

+ Remus didn't smell Scabbers because it had been a long time, he was sleeping and had to worry about all the crap happening on the train?

+ The Goblet of Fire was Confounded. And it was Magic. (^^ Oh how I love this answer ^^)

+ Sirius wasn't expelled. Yep, this is Dumbledore at fault. Gryffindor-lover...

+ Harry never opened the present because he determined not to from the beginning. And in the panic state he was in, he forgot, isn't it understandable? Here are the regrets that constantly plague our lives...

+ Harry is unable to defeat Voldemort until he's lost everyone but Ron and Hermione: Umm, I don't understand exactly what you want here. You want Ron or Hermione to die instead of your favorite characters or you want them to die anyway because you hate the sexual tension that they had been building for over 2000 pages? Sorry, I know, I'm being irrational :P. But look at that! That is not even a plot hole!

+ I admit that I hate Harry/Ginny too, and I do NOT want to side with Rowling in this >,<, but really, you expect her to make Harry gay? Marry an unknown girl? Die a bachelor? We have fanfiction, you shouldn't be that grumpy ^^.

The other things I didn't mention I agree with you ^^. You do have very sharp eyes ^^. But even if I admit that you're right, I myself won't let a few shortcomings ruin my love for a story that is so touching and inspiring. To me, Harry Potter is a magical book, in more ways than one.

Harry Potter's horrible clichés, Part 1
saber
sanzo_riven
-Horrible cliché no.1:

Harry is recognized as the Heir of Gryffindor line, Slytherin line, Ravenclaw line (they don't see Hufflepuff stylish enough to have Harry as the Heir), and blah blah blah line which must be Noble and Ancient and Rich. At the same time! In the same paragraph! And this little 'occurrence' has never mentioned ever again. Figure, Harry is not powerful and worthy and unique without a Noble and Ancient Bloodline and a lot of money.


-Horrible cliché no.2:

For absolutely no reason at all, Harry must have another wand. Which, for some reason unknown, must be made of truly unique and rare and expensive materials: Phoenix tear, Basilisk venom, Dementor fang, Vampire blood blah blah, and all in one wand! And after a chapter in which the author goes on and on about how Harry picks out these materials and why they are special, this wand does the same role as Harry's phoenix wand, and shows no more power nor special talent. How the author sees this is worthy to the plot I do not know.

Ah, you say because your Harry is different, his magic is different and so his wand must be different. I see your point, but let me ask you, does your Harry decide to fight against Voldemort and fulfill his destiny or not? If he does, please, he is the same person I know. His magic is different? Just change his wand a little bit, but don’t disregard it totally. It’s his fate to have that wand, after all.


-Horrible cliché no.3:

Harry decides in a sec that he needs a snake to be his familiar. When he's totally satisfied with Hedwig. Hey, I have no aversion to Harry being friendly with snakes. But please, give me a reason why Harry sees fit to do so. Tending to one pet is tiring enough. And Harry already has troubles that worth twenty lifetimes. He does not need people to shun him again as another Dark lord just because he unthinkingly associates himself with a (popularly believed) Dark creature.


-Horrible cliché no.4:

Harry, for some reasons again, decides that reading books like a Hermione will make him more powerful. And so he buys lots of rare books from every bookshop available. And so he reads. And so he becomes powerful. Oh, please, everyone knows that Harry has no chance with learning theories. He lacks the patience! Like most boys, he likes action, and he learns best when his life is on the line! He is not a bloody Hermione, because, God, one is enough for us already! If reading books makes Hermione better at DADA, it will be Hermione, not Harry, who receives an Outstanding OWL at DADA.


-Horrible cliché no.5:

Harry is abused (beaten, staved, insulted, raped) all his life and becomes broken beyond imagination. He becomes a withdrawn and submissive and scared and spineless putty who always believes himself a worthless freak, because, oh, 'Uncle Vernon does not like insolent boys' and 'Uncle and Aunt said I'm a worthless so I must be'.

/Scoff/ As if that would keep his defiant blood in line. If he can't stand that house anymore, he will run away and live the life of a street kid, like other kids abused before him. Some may lack the courage to leave home. Some may lack the cunning to survive the street. But Harry Potter lacks none. Why do you think he is sorted into Gryffindor and nearly sorted into Slytherin? There's no way in hell he would be obedient and blindingly swallow every single words those horrible people feed him. You say he won't know he is treated wrong because he has been treated like that all his life? You have a point there, providing that he does not meet normally treated children and does not have any simple observation, which, I'm sure you realize, he does. Again, he is not stupid.

I'm not stopping you from writing an Abused!Harry fic. I know that his shame of 'freakiness' is his characteristic insecurity. I also know that it is this insecurity that leads to his unique hero-complex. I just want you to give Harry some credits. You see, even subconsciously, he turns his insecurity into something that helps other people. Harry is strong. Do not deny him that. Seeing Harry as a submissive puff (no offence, Hufflepuff lovers) is disturbing enough. Seeing Harry as a submissive puff that cannot do a thing without others' comfort and protection is just plain disgusting.

Conclusions:

I know you just want to make Harry more special. But don’t you see, he is already special! All you need to do is to give him some horrendous situations and he will prove himself to you, no need for fanciful wands or pets or titles. In fact, bothering yourself with those superficial values will blind you from seeing the real Harry that we all love and admire.

You want to see Harry from different angles. You want to see him dark, abused, sarcastic, hateful, angry, submissive, broken or withdrawn. Great, me too. But you have to be careful. You have to keep in mind that it’s not in his nature to be submissive or hateful. If you make him to, well, give me reasons. Make me believe you. It’s your job. Because if you fail, you’re not writing a fanfic about Harry Potter, but stories about someone I do not know.

Clichés themselves are not horrible. What horrible is the way you use them with mindlessly. How to avoid horrible cliché? Simple, whatever you do, just give me a reason. Tell me why it is important. Explain to me why it must be the way you think it is. Do not just dress Harry up as a stylish hero with absolute nothing of his own just because to you a hero must be cool like that!

Magical creatures' mating
saber
sanzo_riven
Again, don't even ask where this is from. I do not know. It popped up. It stuck. And I was bored with work. So I wrote. By the way, this cranky way of speech was also due to my boredom. I apologize in advance.

Warning: for those who worship the great idiom "Ignorance is bliss", please heed my advice and leave. I'm not playing the role of a prudish little girl here. In simple words, I'm about to mention sex and the like, so feel free to hit "back" if you find it uncomfortable.
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On second thought, you should not read this at all. I am going to mention homosexuality in Harry Potter fanfics, too. And considering that I only read Harry-centric fanfics, so you can deduce what I mean.
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I have spent quite a long time reading Harry Potter fanfiction and have come across numerous fanfics whose plots center the mating of magical creatures, in particular, Veela, Werewolf and Vampire's, the first two much more popular than the last. Curiously, it is the last that I like best. In fact, I'm fascinated with vampire's mate-claiming and quite dislike the others'. I have yet to read any whole fanfiction about veela and werewolf, always find them unpleasant and always stop before finishing them. At first, I believe I haven't encountered the right one for me. And so I try to read some more. But I now have formed the idea that I'm nearly allergic with these kinds of fanfic. And it is completely irrational. This, cannot be accepted. There must be a reason for anything, and that is my purpose writing this kind of nonsense -- to explain my feelings.

I have my reason to say this aversion irrational. Those three are similar if I think about that. All require scenting, a dominant and a submissive, sex, claiming and bonding. Fundamentally, there is not much difference between them. So why do I enjoy vampire mating stories like I'm drinking the elixir of life when I cannot tolerate veela and werewolf to the end?

I've said in my last status that veela and werewolf mating seem animalistic to me, and that I'm not into zoophilia. At least that part is right. Werewolf is obvious. They are, afterall, wolves. Wild dogs. With wolves' instinct. And when I'm thinking of sex between two werewolves, though in human forms they are, I'm reminded of sex between two dogs. And that's the root of the problem. It's not helping that in some stories, the dominant (the alpha) will scent-mark the submissive his by cover her/him with come. Or worse, urine. There is nothing, I tell you, NOTHING erotic about that. It's disgusting.

However, I indeed have read stories that those things did not happen. Nonetheless, I cannot stand the total control the dominant exerts on his submissive. There is attraction, sure, and there is this, admittedly, adorable protectiveness. But that protectiveness is sometimes so ...primitively forceful that it's not pleasant anymore. I mean, the protectiveness and the power of the dominant makes the submissive almost non-existent in terms of authority. And I hate weak, useless, spineless putty. Especially that weak, useless, spineless putty is my Harry. (because no way he is a dominant in a male/male relationship, and I hate to see he exert his power on anyone.)

One problem, done. Good job, San.


The veela courtship is a totally different story. Contrary to werewolf, this kind of relationship is much more subdued, much less intense (in my opinion, mind you). And so it is boring to me. Wow, I have the answer that fast? Now, now, slow down.

Veela mating is called courtship because it is that, a courtship. Sex and claiming and bonding is the final step. Before that, there is this complicated affair of exchanging gifts, challenging and testing. I was bored to death before the couple even had a kiss. Not every story is like that though, only stories want to make the relationship seems normal and slow and natural and realistic. But really, dancing around each other like that is nothing fun! And the challenging, oh the challenging! How preposterous! A worthy submissive must give out a worthy challenge to the suitors, to test their ability in order to choose the best suitor to become her/his mate. Because the submissive needs a powerful dominant to protect her/him, and give the best gene for their children. God, how can you find love in that! How can you find romance in that! It all comes to power and materialistic value! And mating is just for the sake of procreation, must not forget that. Does it seem animalistic to you? Males fighting to mate with one female. Ring a bell?


Ah, yeah, there is another entirely different path this kind may take, without the challenging, thank Goodness. The theory is like werewolf and vampire's mating, and wizard's too: the True mate. Only one mate for you. The one who is made specially for you. You and you only. And until you two mate, each of you is just half. Such a lovely idea. San absolutely adores this ideal of relationship, if only, IF ONLY the writers just stop being overzealous and limit what the bonding can actually do. But that is another story for another day. Back to the veela relationship with true mates. Now the challenging is out of the way, the courtship is much better. But yeah, like I said, not nearly intense enough. But true my problem, I think, is rooted with the famous couple of category though: Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter.

As you can easily figure it out, Draco is always the veela one. Harry sometimes is, sometimes is not, and sometimes is a half-veela. This leads to one particular problem, Draco has the allure of a veela, and so has more control of the relationship, whether he is the submissive or the dominant. Which, of course, does not sit well with San Serene. At all. Whatever other writers may have said, San Serene still believes Draco Malfoy is a spoilt, stuck-up, definitely cowardly little prick, and thus, does not deserve Harry unless he changes himself. Too bad, not many Draco-lovers agree with San, and that puts her off. End story. Briefly speaking, she has aversion to veela!Draco- Harry couple, and that stretches to Veela stories all the same.

Two problems, off my hair. Fabulous!

There's no need to say much about the vampire mating. It somehow is a combination of the best from the other two. There is this adorable over-protectiveness of the dominant for the submissive, but there is no obligation that the submissive must obey the dominant (so my Harry can be defiant all he wants). Two points. There is this intense urge to claim and to mark the submissive, but nothing involved is disgusting. Just a love-bite. How cute (not to mention exciting)! Two more points. There is also the dominant act in sexual relationship (because a male vampire is very intense), which is soooo much exhilarating. Not ever boring, nope! One more point. Oopse, I'm wandering into fangirls-bad-thought world, better stop. But you get the idea, don't you?

'Kay, the conclusion, for I still have this desperate hope that you're still with me ^^ (I myself don't need a conclusion, do I?) I like intense relationships, but never a forceful one. There must be equality between the two mates in terms of authority. I also despise bringing materialistic value to relationships. And screw testing worthiness in love! There cannot be love in that. Love is about feelings, how can one test one's power to find if they are worthy to love? And last but not least, my Harry deserves the best. In which relationships he is duly respected, I support whole-heartedly.

Thx for reading,
San

King Arthur and Harry Potter
saber
sanzo_riven

A while ago, San had the best luck to come across "The marriage stone", a Harry Potter fanfic. Awesome fic. Absolutely fantastic. The author has depicted Harry as a hero, of course, and not any hero, but the equivalent image of King Arthur.

For your information: We Vietnamese may hardly ever know King Arthur, but Arthurian legends are of the oldest and most famous legends of Britain. There's scarcely any British who don't know about King Arthur and his knights. Here is the story: Arthur was the lost son of King Uther Pendragon. After King Uther died, the country was drown in the chaos of civil wars and invasion. After 15 years growing up without knowing his inheritance, Arthur came back, claimed his rightful throne by withdrawing a sword from the stone, a feat that no one could do. He ruled his kingdom with justice and benevolence, and was loved by all of his people. He has performed impressive deeds, and gained the utmost loyalty of the most talented knights. He married beautiful Guinevere, who eventually betrayed him with her adultery with Knight Lancelot. After this betrayal and the subsequent break-up of the Round Table, the reduction of loyal knights in the quest for the Holy Grail, and the war with invaders and his treacherous nephew Modred, King Arthur barely had anyone left by his side. He himself was mortally wounded by Modred's blow, and was carried on a boat to Avalon, a magical island where he would be healed and return when his people needed him again. Thus his legendary title, "The Once and Future King".

And here in "The Marriage Stone", he has indeed come back. As Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, the One-who-will-save-us-all, the Dark-Lord-slayer, the Boy-with-hero-complex (i.e. the Boy-with-masochist-streak), the Boy-who-could-not-possibly-be-normal, the green-eyed beauty, the adorably petite Emerald, the trouble-will-find-me-wherever-I-go Raven, the ...ooopse. Hehe, maybe I'm a little enthusiastic. Okay, the point here is that, he has had enough titles without being the freaking King of the Magical World, but we fangirls want to bestow (aka: thrust) that upon him anyway (Evil cackles). So, here we have, Harry is the only one who can use the King Spells, which had been invented by Merlin himself for the use of King Arthur and King Arthur only.

But enough of that, even I don't want to wander that far from my original topic. What is my original topic you ask? Here it is. "The marriage stone" was the first one to notice me the similarity between Harry Potter and King Arthur, not only in the role of them in their own fantasy world, but in the role of them in our real world also.

Oh I am aware of Harry's role in his fans' world just fine, didn't need anyone to tell me that. Strong and brave. Modest and sefless. Loyal and sacrificing. Passionate and forgiving. Cunning and rash. Gentle and pure. A perfect hero. A perfect friend. A perfect lover. He is everything that a person could hope for. He is everyone's dream, everyone's admiration, everyone's ideal. Funny how fanfic writers would re-use others' ideal of Harry and then add them with their own in their fics. The pedestal for Harry Potter is higher and higher everyday, through each fanfic. And thus we have the above list of titles, which, goes without saying, is lengthened and lengthened everyday. Not that I criticize, actually, I adore it. The never-ending quest of fanfic writers to find another lovable trait of Harry Potter that has yet been discovered. There are thousands of Harry-centric fic, mind you. The sheer number almost make that an impossible task. And yet there are always good fics with original idea, which make every second reading immensely enjoyable. (Which is one of the reasons why I'm addicted with Harry Potter fanfiction by the way)

And guess what, the legends of King Arthur have a similar fate (not that it is bad). King Arthur has also become a heroic figure whose characteristics have been exploited for centuries. You will be surprised by how pliable those legends are. They could be and have been modified to adapt to the culture of the region and era they travelled to, and so has the King Arthur's image. The lack of precise documents concerning King Arthur in real history has enabled writers to freely shape his characters however they want!

In Dark Ages society, he represented power. He was a man of battles. In Medieval era, he typified the chivalric code and strength. He was the King of Knights. In Victorian era, he was the embodiment of Victorian virtues. He was the model of the King of the monarchy.

As you can see, throughout history, people have bestowed upon King Arthur the traits and deeds that they wish, just like us fanfiction writers with Harry Potter, in order to make him the People's Hero. A hero that could defeat giants and dragons, a hero that would rule his people with justice and benevolence, a hero that would protect his people from invaders, a hero that could gain the utmost loyalty of the most talented knights, a hero that would return from his death when his people need him.

Human are really vulnerable creatures. They cannot live if they can't put their faith in something. They believe in Gods, and they believe in heroes. They believe in some supernatural forces that will lead their lives, because they realize they cannot control them themselves. It's kind of funny, but also understandable. Those beliefs cause them a sense of security after all. Whoever want to live their lives with the belief "Evil will triumph no matter what" if not evil themselves? And so we dream our dreams, where we keep our beliefs that goodness will prevail. That's what we do, being human.

21/4/2009
~a boost for Annual Research~
Reference: Arthur - King of Britons, by Daniel Mersey.


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