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Why I like GoodAtPotions!Tonks - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Why I like GoodAtPotions!Tonks
I was reading some pet peeves, and someone listed that Tonks making Remus's Wolfsbane Potion was a big one. Now, the tone suggested that she'd seen one one in which Tonks showed up Snape at Potions all the time, and that could be a bit irritating, but I very much like the idea that Tonks is good at Potions.

As far as canon evidence goes, we have none that she's especially good at Potions, but McGonagall tells Harry that he'll need a NEWT in Potions to qualify as an Auror, and that Snape does not take NEWT students who got less than an Outstanding in the subject. It's possible that she just means the OWLs, which appear to be less demanding than everyday classes (yay for proper teaching!), but I get the impression that Snape would want people to meet his (higher) standard before he'd take them on for advanced training. And how easily do you think he'd grade Sirius's cousin? So I think there's evidence that she's at least more than marginally competent at Potions, along with the other subjects she'd have to have taken as an Auror.

That's neither here nor there; there are plenty of canon things that I don't have much interest in. But I like Tonks being being good at Potions.

First, full disclosure--as an R/T shipper, I do enjoy the Wolfsbane notion. But honestly, that's the least of my interest.

Snape has a very distinctive personality, and it's one that we've really come to associate with Potions. Tonks has a very different personality, and the kind of clash between expectation and actuality is fun. It says something about the subject--that it doesn't have to be totally dour--and also something about Tonks--that she does have some level of mental discipline.

I like (in a non-shippy way) the idea of Snape and Tonks interacting as student and teacher. Like Harry, Tonks would have been a target of Snape's hatred, because of her connection to his tormentors. Unlike Harry, she seems pretty secure in herself and would let it roll off of her. Never in a million years would she get away with teasing Snape the way she teases Moody ("Who do you know who lost a buttock?"), but I'll bet she tried a couple of times and ended up in hard detention (and baffled, because she'd think she was just being friendly). And she'd drive Snape insane, especially if she was good at his subject--not only Sirius's cousin, but insufferably cheerful and prone to horrendous colors... and he can't get rid of her, and she doesn't trip up.

Really, I guess that's it. Not a lot of reasons. But I do like that fanon character tic.
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Comments
ashtur From: ashtur Date: December 7th, 2004 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I tend to agree with you, but with one small caveat. I'm not entirely sure that Snape would hold Tonks' being related to Sirius against her. She is just as closely related to the Malfoy's after all, who seem to be Snape's patrons.

Which of course throws it back into the family dynamics of the Black sisters, which is one of the big open questions we have. We know that Madam Black held Andromeda's "rebellion" against her. Would Narcissa and Bellatrix do the same to their sister?

In that respect it's interesting that Auntie Bellatrix hurt Tonks pretty badly in the Death Chamber, but didn't kill her. Was that simply a matter of tactics (easier to use the spell she did use, than an AK), or was it some sort of family loyalty?
jetamors From: jetamors Date: December 7th, 2004 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
In that respect it's interesting that Auntie Bellatrix hurt Tonks pretty badly in the Death Chamber, but didn't kill her. Was that simply a matter of tactics (easier to use the spell she did use, than an AK), or was it some sort of family loyalty?

I think it was probably a tactics issue. Bellatrix probably doesn't have any idea that Tonks is her niece.
arclevel From: arclevel Date: December 7th, 2004 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree. Tonks is actually *more* closely related to Narcissa Malfoy -- and Bellatrix Lestrange, who we know to have been Snape's school associate/friend -- than to Sirius Black. Plus, with Harry, Snape can't look at Harry without thinking of James for several reasons -- the name, his entire appearance, and the fact that Harry is so well known as James's son. None of these is evident in Tonks's connection to Sirius. Plus, I think there are other reasons realted to the first war and Harry's celebrity that Snape was predisposed to dislike him; again, these wouldn't apply to Tonks.

I agree that Tonks would have to be at least good to get the required NEWT in Potions, but I doubt that Snape takes so few students that she would have to be exceptional. Also, we don't know to what extent Aurors must continue their practical potion brewing skills. My impression/opinion is that only exceptional, probably dedicated potion makers can brew Wolfsbane. She could be exceptional, of course, I just don't think of her as such. Plus, I think I've read too many fics in which everyone and his brother learns to make Wolfsbane, which I find highly unlikely, so it prejudices me against nearly anyone but Snape doing it. :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2004 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even if Andromeda (unlikely) stayed in her sister's good graces, there's no way that her Muggle-born husband and half-blood daughter would. We know how the Malfoys feel about that; that's one of the things that no bones are made about.

And Andromeda was burned out of the family by the people who were loyal to it, but she was Sirius's *favorite*.
arclevel From: arclevel Date: December 7th, 2004 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Quite true, but I still don't really think the Sirius-N Tonks connection is nearly strong enough for her to have a similar effect on Snape as Harry does.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 7th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
(BTW, I will say that it annoys me when people treat Wolfsbane Potion brewing as something that lots of people can do. I made sure that Snape taught Tonks personally and gave her all kinds of admonitions about tring to teach anyone else. She tries at one point to teach Remus, but totally freaks when she sees him mishandling the ingredients.)
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: December 7th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree. Tonks is a bit clutzy, probably a side effect of being an metamorphmagis and never being sure of the skin she's in, but she's obviously smart. Most unconventional people I've met are highly intelligent. Plus, she's an auror--not something that just any old witch can achieve. People need to stop equating clutziness or very social- look-at-me personalities with lower IQ. It just isn't so.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: December 7th, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you. "Dumb Dora" in general is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. She had to get all those NEWT's in order to become an Auror, and according to McG. they don't take just anyone, NEWT's or no NEWT's.

I don't ship Snape/Tonks in a million years, but they could have a very interesting interaction as teacher/student, because their personalities and outlooks are so diametrically opposed. Tonks is most likely ENFP, and Snape ISTJ/INTJ.

OT of Tonks - being Snape has got to be bad for his health. He's so tightly wound, grouchy, and full of grudges. A good thing wizarding Healers are so good at their work or he'd be dead of a heart attack by now.
mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: December 7th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the way I see it, someone's got to be good at potions in the Potterverse. The Slytherins are marked well because they're Slytherins. Hermione's good because she's Hermione and she works hard at everything. Neville did well on the OWL (or thought he did), but that doesn't make him good at potions. You're right, an Auror needs to be good at Potions and there is some speculation that Tonks may have been the last Auror taken - which would indicate that she was VERY good in the required classes. (Even if she wasn't THE last, she was one of them... still very good.)

Your drabbles were brilliant. I adored the second one.

Happy Hanukkah, Fern.
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