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01 January 2006 @ 11:56 pm
Fandom Meme  
Sure, why not. It's a chance for me to prattle on about Harry Potter. What could be better?!

1. The first character I first fell in love with: Sirius Black, quelle surprise. He's loyal to a fault, rebellious, emotional, defiant, brooding, passionate, confident, and oh so sexy! How could you not fall in love? Of course, I will always love Harry. But in a way, it's kind of comparing apples and oranges.

2. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now: Right now, I'm saying Luna. I love her matter-of-factness, her fearless quirkiness, and her strong sense of self. When I first met her, I thought she was cool and interesting; it was only a bit later that I realized how truly awesome she is. But I have a feeling that once I complete my rereads of Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, Ginny may outrank her in this respect. I never disliked Ginny, but she's definitely growing and growing on me. I think once my rereads are done, I will truly adore her.

3. The character everyone else loves that I don't: I don't know how many people love this character, actually, but I'm gonna go with Tonks. I don't feel that she's very well developed in canon, and I just don't find her very interesting. She's nice, but blandly so. Maybe she's not flawed enough for me. Again, I do need to reread the fifth and sixth books, so maybe my opinion will change, but for now I declare her too two dimensional for my tastes. And the Metamorphagus thing is just meh for me.

4. The character I love that everyone else hates: I can't really think of anyone for this. I adore Hermione, but so do a lot of people. The same goes for Ron. Lucius? A lot of people find him intriguing, and I'm not sure I actually love him. It's hard to separate canon!Lucius from JasonIsaacs!Lucius. Snape? Same problem with canon!Snape vs. AlanRickman!Snape, and moreover, a lot of people love him as well. The same could be said for Draco. Maybe the closest I can get to answering this question would be to say Peter Pettigrew...except that I don't love him. But the reason I say him as a possibility is that I think MaraudersEra!Peter must have had some really redeeming qualities for the other guys to give him the time of day. What we saw in the Pensieve cannot be all there was to Peter. If that's the case, Sirius would have given him the boot long before they made it to their O.W.L.s. So, I think there must have been something to love about Peter. This is something I want to develop in my fan fic "Yellow", actually. Unfortunately, so far Peter has somehow managed not to be in my Marauders-era flashback scenes so far (through Chapter 3, which I'm still working on). He made a cameo in one, but then decided to leave the room, and there was nothing I could do about it! But I do want to portray a good side of Peter, so we can understand why James, Sirius, and Remus were such good friends with him, and why Sirius even says he would have died for Peter in Prisoner of Azkaban.

5. The character I used to love but don't any longer: Another tough one. Aragog? Just kidding. Molly really pissed me off in Order of the Phoenix (no one hits my Sirius below the belt!), so maybe I'll say her. But once again, I need to reread the last two books to say that definitively.

6. The character I would shag anytime: Sirius Black! That's an easy one!

7. The character I'd want to be like: Well, I'm very much like Hermione already. But who I'd want to be like? I think I'll go with Harry, our hero, here. I consider myself a loyal friend, but he's got me licked. I mean, he doesn't even hesitate for one second when it comes to risking his life to save the ones he loves. I think I'd ultimately make the same choices he does, but I also think I would hesitate.

8. The character I'd slap: Umbridge. Not only is she completely evil in a sickly sweet sort of way, but she reminds of this truly horrid English teacher I had in the 9th grade.

9. A pairing that I love: I have three answers for this one. My fanon answer is Remus/Sirius. There's something very sweet (and very hot!) about this pair. The two are perfect foils for one another, and there's so much history and so much hurt between them that the angst and drama factor rises to delicious levels. My second answer does exist in fanon, but in a very small capacity, and it's a ship that I actually made up myself without seeing it in fanon first. It was only when I Googled it that I realized I wasn't the first to think of it. Of course, I had figured as much; every possible pairing out there has probably been written, from Crookshanks/Mrs. Norris and Grawp/Firenze to Fat Lady/Bloody Baron. (Oooh, now there's an idea for a good crack!fic challenge: Write a crack!fic featuring the most unlikely pairing you can think of, and not just something that people joke about a lot, like Dobby/Giant Squid.) Ready? It's Sirius/Rosmerta. For some reason, I can see Sirius going for an older woman like her, just because it's dangerous, and possibly forbidden. (Well, we don't know how much older she is, but she has to have been at least several years older if she was tending bar when the Marauders were in school.) Plus, except for possibly her blood lineage, she is probably everything the Black clan would hate: a woman of a lower class, employed in a service industry. In fact, she is the only woman in canon I can see with Sirius. This pairing is a new discovery for me, and it was stimulated by a little flirtation that wrote itself into Chapter 3 of "Yellow". (Just to be clear, "Yellow" doesn't ship Sirius and Rosmerta, because that relationship is likely not canon, or else Madam Rosmerta would have been even more horrified during the scene where Harry overhears Fudge, Hagrid, McGonagall, and Rosmerta in The Three Broomsticks. But I could see Sirius flirting with Madam Rosmerta, so that's what I included--not an actual relationship.) And my third answer, which is the canon answer, is just OBHWF. Just because it's canon. And it works. And it's just right.

10. A pairing that I despise: Oh boy. I know some people are not going to like this one, but I really do not like Lupin/Tonks. This is mainly because I do not like Tonks and because I really just don't see it. Once again, a reread of the fifth and sixth books could change this, but...I dunno, I don't think so. Even though I never saw Remus/Sirius as canon, I have trouble seeing anyone else with Remus but Sirius. And yes yes, I know, Remus is not gay and Sirius is dead...and I do want Remus to be happy. But Tonks is just too two dimensional for me to enjoy this ship. Hmm, and maybe I don't want Remus to be happy. Maybe I like the angst. I don't know. I just don't see this ship. And, of course, Harry/Hermione was always a nonentity for me. Leaving aside the shipping wars, they really are way too siblinglike for me to see any trace of a ship. Further, Harry clearly states in Goblet of Fire that his time spent with Hermione when he and Ron weren't talking wasn't particularly fun. There's just no romantic chemistry there. Period. As for fanon ships, there are way too many squicky ships to name. Particularly insidious ones, though, are anything involving incest [e.g., Lucius/Draco, Twincest (Fred/George)], Snape/most people (especially Lily, Remus, Sirius, James, Harry, Hermione, and Draco), and Harry/Ron (best friends typically do not shag each other!).
The Cee Monstersagacious_c on January 2nd, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)
I appreciate your take on Peter -- there must be compelling reasons he was one of the Marauders. I'm very curious to see how you present in him Yellow. I like reading fanfiction interpretations of this because what we've seen in canon so far hasn't made it clear... I think in PoA McGonagall observed that he wasn't as bright/talented as the others (I'm lazy and not looking in my books), and from the Pensieve flashback it was clear that he was a follower, but in any group they can't all be the leaders, right?

Also, I'm intrigued by the Sirius/Rosmerta flirtation scenario. I think I'd squick if she was WAY older than him, though. How much older are you making her?
Miss Sophia: Maraudersmiss_sophia on January 2nd, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC)
JKR has not painted a very realistic picture of Peter. She wanted to establish that the Marauders weren't just a group of four--that there were different layers and configurations of friendships within it. And she wanted to establish that Peter was not always treated well by James and Sirius (e.g., the Pensieve scene) and that he may have been underestimated (e.g., the way McGonagall talked about him in The Three Broomsticks and the way Sirius talked about him in the Shrieking Shack). But she has shown us nothing good about him, and that just makes no sense to me. So yeah, I definitely want to write some scenes where he's having fun, being a good friend, being interesting, etc. And you're absolutely right: Followers definitely have an important role--and they often even come up with great original ideas of their own. Hmm, all of this makes me want to write an essay on Peter!

As for Sirius/Rosmerta, I am not really establishing her age at all; that is, I don't refer to it in the chapter. But for the record, I don't see her as GROSSLY older than him. Because wizards and witches live longer than Muggles, I suppose it's possible that she was in her 50s during the Marauders era and in her 70s during Harry's time and still spry enough to tend bar, but we really don't get the impression she's that old when Harry sees her...and it would be truly nasty for Sirius to be having a somewhat intense flirtation with a 50-year-old. Maybe she's in her late 20s or very early 30s during that scene (which takes place in the Marauders' seventh year)? That's old enough to be pretty darn wrong (of course, as a 28-year-old with a massive crush on 16-year-old Dan Radcliffe, I should probably shut my mouth right about now), but not so old as to make it squicky. Hmm, maybe I should establish her age. Something to think about....
The Cee Monstersagacious_c on January 2nd, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
JKR has not painted a very realistic picture of Peter.

Exactly. Those were the words I was looking for! It's interesting to read a series that's still being written, because JKR may still have characterization revelations for us in Book 7 about Peter. Actually, I'm almost assuming that she WILL since we'll certainly be seeing more of him. I just hope there are some good flashback/Pensieve scenes waiting for us.

Another Peter option that I think about, but don't necessarily think JKR does, is that he could be one of those friends you outgrow... They were all friends from age 11 and at least from my personal experience, friendships were like swiftly shifting sands during those years. JKR doesn't really write that way, though, and I think for story-telling purposes it works better to have a more dramatic reason for Peter's shift to Voldemort's side. I think I like the theory you talk about below where he gets himself in over his head. That works a little more cleanly to show how someone could slide to the Dark Side.

Part of JKR's unclear characterization of him (unclear at least as revealed so far) is why he's a Gryffindor. I've seen people speculating that he might do something courageous in the last book... But what defines "courage" -- the way you live your entire life or one big event? And could bravery include doing something courageous yet WRONG? My gut instinct is "no" but I haven't thought about it much. Hmmmm.
Miss Sophia: Maraudersmiss_sophia on January 3rd, 2006 07:51 am (UTC)
Your idea of the Marauders outgrowing Peter is really interesting--and very real. Definitely something for me to think about a bit. The fact that the boys shared living quarters for seven years and were pretty much around each other 24/7 would make it very difficult to drift apart naturally; that is, under other circumstances, the friendships might have dissolved if they were outgrowing each other, but because of the boarding-school situation, they were forced to maintain friendships that might not have fit so well anymore. It's kind of like your family--you may not like them, but you have to love them.

I don't have a good answer to your questions about courage and bravery...but they're very good questions!

I think one thing that has to come up in Book Seven is the life debt that Peter owes Harry.
pick poppies: aslantipsytoe on January 2nd, 2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
I like your take on Peter. I do agree that he was treated pretty badly because he betrayed them. Yes, I don't love him. But at his position, weak and not so intelligent, one can understand why he chose the side he thinks will win. At his part, I don't believe that he left for the dark side without thinking of the consequences.
Miss Sophia: Maraudersmiss_sophia on January 2nd, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure Peter is unintelligent. This is one of the enigmas JKR has left us with. I mean, McGonagall says he's kind of slow, and Sirius certainly says many disparaging things about his intelligence...but he still managed to achieve the Animagus transformation as a not-yet-fully-trained wizard. And while he did have the other Marauders' help, it still couldn't have been easy, which certainly says something about his abilities. Further, he managed to deceive everyone for over a year, and he even outmaneuvered Sirius when Sirius tracked him down after James and Lily were killed. I almost wonder if Peter had some sort of family or background situation that led him to put on a bit of an act, to play "the dumb follower," when he was capable of so much more. Playing dumb and letting others believe they have the upper hand is definitely a strategy for getting friends, being included, and even being successful in certain endeavors. I don't know if you've ever watched the American version of the TV show Survivor, but playing dumb certainly got Big Tom pretty far in Survivor: Africa and Survivor: All Stars. On the other hand, though, we see Peter out-and-out COWERING next to Voldemort. Is that an act, too? Or is he genuinely scared? Peter is...well, to use a word from the beginning of this paragraph, an enigma. (Sorry to ramble on; your comment led me to try to parse Peter further, so I'm sort of "thinking out loud," so to speak.)

As for Peter having thought about the consequences of going to the Dark Side (ooh, sounds Star Wars-y!) beforehand, I'm still sorting that one out for myself. On one hand, I think he was smart enough--or at least sneaky enough--to have made a conscious decision to go with the side that was most advantageous for him. On the other hand, though, I kind of like the idea of him suddenly finding himself way over his head. What I mean is that I can see him joining the Dark Side without realizing that he'd have to betray one of his closest friends. When he joined, he may have realized that he'd be hurting people he didn't know, but I can imagine him not having expected to have to betray one of his own. After all, he didn't know about the prophecy. So when Voldemort comes to him and says, "You're friends with James Potter. I need information on him," Peter might be thinking, "Oh no oh no oh no! This was my way of protecting my friends--of keeping Voldemort focused on other people. I never dreamed that I'd have to betray anyone I knew. What have I got myself into?"

Of course, it's certainly possible that Peter was so sick of James and Sirius treating him like crap that he was glad to betray them...but I don't think JKR meant to imply that James and Sirius were completely jerks either, so this theory might not be fitting either.

OK, you know what? I need to stop rambling in my comment to you. :) I hope you don't mind my "thinking out loud" here. Peter is fascinating, and I really want to develop him more, so thanks for giving me an opportunity to think more about it!
Aidanochenne on January 3rd, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Interesting answers. I stole the meme from you (because it is cool) - if you want to see my responses, it's on my LJ. Oh, and I agree with you on Peter's characterization. I am bewildered as to why he was a Gryffindor.