I now have a challenge forum.
Okay, I've tried to find it, and I might as well ask for help on my profile.
I remember a Neon Genesis Evangelion fic on this site that was Shinji/female Kaworu. All I remember clearly about it is that, soon after they met, Shinji and Fem!Kaworu consummated their love against... the kitchen counter, if I recall correctly. Asuka, who was not comatose, came in and began screaming at them, whereupon Fem!Kaworu (who was somewhat yandere towards Shinji) promptly demolished what was left of her sanity. At the end of the story, Fem!Kaworu somehow brought about Third Impact, with Shinji as the only other survivor, and they lived together forever.
It would have been from 2005 or earlier, I think.
While digging through ancient fandom archives for fond memories, I found a quote that perfectly sums up my opinion of "The Cursed Child" and a great deal of post-core-series "canon" in general:
The thread title [C.S. Extra Non-Book Info from JKR VI: "Professor Longbottom's a Raving Drunk!"] comes from a discussion on the last thread about the fact that JKR says completely random things and will probably continue to do so even on her death bed. Darth Gojira had this to say:
"Lily and James will get married!" "But-but-" "LILY AND JAMES WILL GET MARRIED! Albus Severus marries Rose Weasley! Hugo's gay and marries Locran! Lysander marries Neville and Hannah's kid Doreen! Albus commits suicide when he realizes that people don't like the Weasleys!" "Um, ma'am?" "Shut up, I'm on a roll! Professor Longbottom's a raving drunk! Snape returns from the dead and becomes head of Gryffindor! Cho Chang is a Death Eater and is eviscerated!" "Please..." "Harry goes out every winter to piss on Wormtail's grave! S.P.E.W. is outlawed by the Union for Grovelling House-elves!" "Ugh" "Yes, exactly!"
When somebody sarcastically "predicting" the most ludicrous post-hoc additions to canon possible comes within a hair's breadth of predicting a key plot point of "The Cursed Child" (Cedric Diggory becoming a Death Eater), I... think that really says all that can be said.
Did I mention this was from February 2010?
I don't think I'll ever be able to view Voldemort the same way again after realizing he's just Tom Riddle's case of chuunibyou gone terminal.
"Chuunibyou", or "middle-schooler syndrome", is derogatory Japanese slang for the phenomenon of some teenagers convincing themselves they have special destinies, superpowers, and an overwhelming need to give themselves a new, awesome name to match. It tends to peak around fourteen.
Tom Riddle was using the title of "Lord Voldemort" before his sixteenth year, which puts him at what age when he invented it? Yep... about fourteen...
I have an unending and bitter hatred for the fanfiction trope of depicting House-Elves as being reliant on their masters' magic to live. Because Dobby was doing so poorly while freed - wait, no, he was doing great. I can't find any evidence for the entire 'magical parasite' thing in Pottermore canon, either, which means it isn't just an interview I missed.
I find the trope creepy because it's a magical version of actual pro-slavery propaganda - that slaves are so helpless and feckless that they could never live except under the supervision of their masters. Obviously this is false in real life. I'd be fine with the magical analogue being propaganda in-universe, similar to the weird claims about Muggleborns being magic-stealers in the propaganda put out under the Death Eater regime. But for it to be reality in-universe is basically awkward hand-waving that it's all right to own slaves if you're doing it for the slaves' own good.
In stories centering around Harry rebelling against the control of a manipulative Dumbledore, this is not only detestable, it's exquisitely hypocritical.
An interesting thing about movie "Obscurial" canon (which I generally ignore) is that it casts a different light on the fight that led to Ariana's death. As far as I'm aware, the traditional fanon interpretation is for Ariana either to be caught in the crossfire or get hit while attempting to put herself between the three. Fair enough, because Aberforth certainly tries to make it sound that way.
Aberforth is Ariana's partisan. The only fact he gives is that Ariana was "set off". Both he and Albus skip completely over what she actually did and jump right to her death. Reading very carefully also reveals that they say nothing about it being an accident - Albus only mourns that it happened "after all my mother's care and caution" and both brothers had no idea who dealt the killing blow "in that last, horrific fight".
Given what actually happens when an Obscurial goes off, the picture shifts from a three-way brawl, too wild for anyone to tell which particular stray spell took the life of a terrified girl who was just trying to help, to three boys dropping their duel and firing blindly into the central mass of a howling maelstrom of destruction. Which Aberforth later justified, Hagrid-like, as poor little Ariana only wanting to help. She wasn't trying to hurt them - she just "didn't really know what she was doing", that was all.
Again, I generally disregard post-core-series canon, but if it's an indicator of authorial intent regarding the true course of that duel, it's worth noting.
I accidentally came across an old doozy of JKR's:
"So Voldemort himself acts almost like a Horcrux for Harry – except that the power of Lily’s sacrifice is a positive force that not only continues to tether Harry to life, but gives Voldemort himself one last chance (Dumbledore refers to this last hope in chapter 35). Voldemort has unwittingly put a few drops of goodness back inside himself; if he had repented, he could have been healed more deeply than anyone would have supposed."
Let it be known that Harry is literally Wizard Jesus: by imbibing the sacrament of the holy blood, even Voldemort can find redemption!
And, by implication, he could only find redemption because he happened to choose the right boy's blood. Morality has nothing to do with it, only unwitting consumption of abstract "goodness". This makes no sense whatsoever: either even Voldemort deserves the right to repentance or his evil is too great for any repentance to be meaningful. Redemption does not come in a 12 oz aluminum can.
Leaving morality entirely aside and assuming this refers only to whether or not Voldemort can induce self-soul-repair - that means Harry's blood, empowered by Lily's sacrifice, is a potent magical ingredient capable of repairing even the most grievously wounded souls, much as phoenix tears are capable of repairing even the most grievously wounded bodies. Since killing splits the soul, Harry's blood should be incorporated into both prisoner-rehabilitation and veteran-PTSD-treatment programs. After all, it can heal even a hardened serial killer, soaked to the bone in black magic and unspeakable abominations, "more deeply than anyone would have supposed" - imagine what it would do for ordinary folks!
(The two major fanfiction handwaves would be using it as general-purpose trauma repair, on the grounds that most traumas surely rend the soul less than seven Horcruxes, and redeeming the hot villain of the author's choice for an eventual Harry romance. Yes, including Voldemort.)
Miscellaneous Harry Potter fan fiction notes:
- It is frequently believed, because of what Neville SAYS, that he's nearly a Squib (before he gets his own wand, at least). This is purest nonsense. He accidentally hurls Flitwick across the room while practicing Levitating Charms and melts cauldrons in Potions. Those indicate that his problem is the exact OPPOSITE of too little magic. If anything, since "Deathly Hallows" indicates that spells cast with an incompatible wand tend to fizzle, any spell failures can be put down to that, and accidentally flipping Flitwick with an incompatible wand is even more telling of Neville's true magical strength. He lacks control and wand compatibility -- not power.
- In Super!Harry fics, it really ought to be remembered that Voldemort (and Dumbledore, if manipulative!Dumbledore) was canonically ludicrously intelligent and competent in school and has had four decades (nine, in Dumbledore's case) of preparation and study after that, not counting time spent barely subsisting in Albania. Voldemort can be handicapped by Horcrux-induced mental rotting; a default manipulative!Dumbledore isn't. That is to say, by default, he's a super-intelligent wizard with a legendary wand, Phoenix familiar, at least brief Philosopher's Stone access, extensive political and administrative power, a paramilitary personality cult, and ninety years in which to chain together spells, resources, and plots to increase his effective reach in ways that would make the most shameless powergamer woozy. Oh -- I forgot, he's a Legilimens too. Defeating him without HBP-esque intelligence debuffs is left as an exercise to the attentive reader.
- Harry/Ginny should be a better pairing than it is. Ginny, unlike any other character in Harry's age group, has received the full brunt of a piece of Voldemort's soul deceiving her, exploiting her, and ultimately attempting to suck her dry. In the wake of OOTP, she could have understood that part of Harry's trauma in a way even his closest friends couldn't manage, formed a bond with him, and shared his personal need to take down Voldemort. (This would also have been aided by the aborted plan for Mr. Weasley to actually die in OOTP, since she also would have lost a parent to Voldemort.) There's a lot of unmined potential in Harry/Ginny, but the lackluster canon portrayal seems to have soured many on it entirely. A real shame.
- Ron/Hermione is canonically abusive. If this is unclear, imagine Herman Granger attacking Veronica Weasley with birds because she dared be in a relationship with someone else while he was secretly crushing on her, or pummeling "every inch of [her] [he] could reach" because she admittedly did something very stupid. For this reason, I always get somewhat confused when a fanfic has Ron as a violent, insanely jealous spouse-beater and Hermione as the terrified, battered spouse... on account of canon portraying exactly the reverse situation.
- Slytherin publicly notifies everyone that its values are cunning, resourcefulness, and ambition, which is very generous. Since the Sorting Hat lets students have final override on their Houses, I expect all the truly deceptive and untrustworthy people actually congregate in... Hufflepuff.
- Useful numbers: the HP wiki puts the Wizarding population of the U.K. at ~15,000 and the magical population at 1 in ~4150. Helpful for calculating proportions.
- I thought it was overpowered fanon nonsense, but it's canon: judging from Hermione, an advanced post-sixth-year student can cast their own 'Undetectable Space-Expanding Charms', also known as unlimited Bags of Holding. And, since she stuffs that beaded bag full of books and supplies into her sock without adverse effects or any apparent ball-and-chain around her leg, they're Bags of Holding with complete weight nullification. So does your Super!Harry want to drag the contents of all sixteen of his Gringotts vaults in his pockets? Let him - it's canon. (But decency holds you should forbid putting such bags inside of each other, lest he end up shoving the contents of a couple of universes into his backpack)
- Transfiguration, as seen in HBP and then used in DH, allows a reasonably proficient witch or wizard to completely modify their facial appearance. This begs the questions: why the Hell did Peter Pettigrew turn into a rat for thirteen years rather than changing his face and living a normal life under a new identity? Why did Sirius remain on the run during GOF rather than wandering around Hogsmeade with a new face? You might think there's some spell to detect fugitives regardless of changed appearances, but Mr. Undesirable Number One cheerfully runs about a Voldemort-controlled Ministry under Polyjuice without detection, so that can't be the case. No need for "glamours": this is fully canon.
- Speaking of security issues: the OOTP Ministry after-hours visit has the possible excuse that the Death Eaters disarmed all security protocols to allow Harry to walk into the ambush, but the DH Ministry raid doesn't. There is NO anti-Polyjuice provision? ANYONE can mug a Ministry employee and steal their identity? What sort of war is this? Writing a story in which Intelligent!Harry snaps Wizarding Britain's power structure in two using nothing but Polyjuice abuse is left as an academic exercise. (For particularly obscene results, allow Time-Turners. "At the end of a particularly taxing day - or had it been a month? - Harry gladly collapsed into bed, having played the roles of the entire Wizengamot...")
- On the subject of Polyjuice: I cannot understand why JKR introduced a character whose powers amounted to an unlimited supply of Polyjuice if her only purpose was to be Remus Lupin's uterus.
- On the subject of Remus Lupin: why do authors criticize him for never checking on Harry (which may be explainable by unseen anti-werewolf laws, something like "A registered werewolf may not come within 100 meters of children younger than eleven") and not for the far more grievous matter of never revealing the Animagus form of a supposed mass murderer, or the secret passages he might have been using, while said supposed mass murderer was roaming a school full of children?
- Fans of the D&D computer game Neverwinter Nights may remember a character class called the Shadowdancer, whose merit chiefly consisted of one overpowered ability: Hide in Plain Sight. Using said ability, a character could walk up to a target while hidden, attack, and renew concealment even with their target staring directly at them. (I am aware it also exists in the tabletop game, but its implementation in the computer game's engine was apparently particularly overpowered.) My question: isn't this exactly what the Cloak of Invisibility enables? Is there any fic in which James and/or Harry abuses this as a "fighting style"?
- It's "Quirrell", not "Quirrel". I mention this because I'm fairly sure I've made this mistake a few times, and have certainly seen it in many stories.
- "Born as the seventh month dies" is canonically taken to be the seventh month of the year. However, it could easily be the seventh month of pregnancy. Ta-da - the prophecy is no longer limited to July births, and your fic can now feature Chosen One Draco Malfoy, Ronald Weasley, or Ernie Macmillan. They just have to be born two months prematurely. Zarohk Korobase notes that the seventh month could also refer to "September".
- Fun fact: in "Deathly Hallows", the plot bangs through four Horcruxes in a single day (Goblet, Diadem, Nagini, and Scar). The entirety of Chamber of Secrets was dedicated to one Horcrux (Diary), Dumbledore destroys one Horcrux (Ring) between books, and half of Deathly Hallows was spent taking out one Horcrux (Locket).
And a rant:
[Content note: discussion of child abuse]
"An Obscurus is developed under very specific conditions: trauma associated with the use of magic, internalised hatred of one’s own magic and a conscious attempt to suppress it. The Dursleys were too frightened of magic ever to acknowledge its existence to Harry. While Vernon and Petunia had a confused hope that if they were nasty enough to Harry his strange abilities might somehow evaporate, they never taught him to be ashamed or afraid of magic. Even when he was scolded for ‘making things happen’, he didn’t make any attempt to suppress his true nature, nor did he ever imagine that he had the power to do so."
I was unaware that locking a child in a cupboard for doing magic (whether or not they called it such) didn't teach him to be ashamed or afraid of doing so. And Vernon specifically says Harry's "freakishness" was "nothing a good beating wouldn't have cured", if I recall correctly -- he certainly gave it some thought, even if fear or some last scrap of human decency held him back.
Furthermore, abused children are a good deal more attentive than JKR thinks. As a matter of pain minimization, they learn to pick up quickly on what enrages their abusers, even if -- especially if -- their abusers can never be bothered to specify what they did wrong. And 'they get particularly vicious towards me right after something freakish occurs' is a relatively easy pattern to recognize.
As far as the magnitude of the Dursleys' abuse, Harry casually mentions in DH that he's unsurprised by the mental effects of food deprivation because "he had suffered periods of near starvation at the Dursleys'". Starving a growing child can lead to permanent physical and mental stunting, digestive system dysfunction, and all sorts of other nasty side effects. Including death, by the way, because abusers are infamously incompetent at estimating the caloric needs of children.
I'm supposed to believe that, in an abusive and life-threatening environment, a child would not make the necessary connections and, whether he thought it possible or not (the Dursleys would not be the first abusers to expect the literally impossible), at least desperately attempt whatever actions he thought might prevent his abusers from becoming his murderers?
Now, perhaps in the bizarre AU which JKR describes, in which the Dursleys were nothing more than "nasty" to Harry and only "scolded" him for accidental magic, Harry was at absolutely no risk of going the way of Ariana Dumbledore. But in the environment described in canon, he most certainly was.
And, if JKR didn't want to deal with the unpleasant implications of Harry's childhood upon the introduction of Obscurial canon, she shouldn't have made the man who knowingly condemned Harry to "ten dark and difficult years" Ariana's brother.