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And my quirky reactions to HBP, with even more spoilers - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
And my quirky reactions to HBP, with even more spoilers
Okay, I've reviewed the book as a book below, but of course, in fandom, no one's response is purely literary. So here's my other stuff.




I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
(With apologies to the Christmas carol, but I can't help it.)

There were two ships I assumed would happen, and a third I loved but figured JKR would never dare to do.

They all sailed safely into harbor. Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, and--to my utter shock (well, not, since there were spoilers, but I was shocked at the spoilers), Remus/Tonks. True, Ron and Hermione are not observed snogging, but an "I love you, Hermione" coupled with holding and hair-stroking... I think it's fairly obvious that the Good Ship is sailing. Harry has the world's least convincing break up with Ginny, which I predict to last until the middle of book 7 at the latest, since it has absolutely nothing to do with either of them not wanting to go out anymore. And Remus and Tonks have apparently been talking about marriage all year. So much for us R/Ters pulling things out of thin air, neh?

Concepts confirmed
Well, fanfic plots are never confirmed--they can only be falsified--but concepts can certainly come through.

Bellatrix, as per the family tree, is in fact, the eldest of the Black sisters, making Andromeda the middle sister and Narcissa the youngest. I was grateful for this piece of information, as there was debate on the subject for reasons I was never entirely clear on.

Narcissa is allied with Voldemort. She's not wild about him, but that's over selfish (if understandable) reasons; she has no particular moral qualms about Death Eaters.

Draco's a Death Eater. It was well handled and done in a complex way, which should make me feel all pitying and so on, but I have to admit that I'm more or less doing a little joyful gloating dance, to the words, "I guessed it, I guessed it..."

Molly is a matchmaker, and has taken Remus's happiness under her personal care.

Some werewolves deliberately transform near chosen victims.

Concepts denied
Remus calls her Tonks!!!! :weeps: Hopefully, once he accepts the relationship, he'll stop calling her by a silly schoolgirl nickname and actually use some variant of actual adult nomenclature. Even if it's something like Nym or N'dora or the wretched Nymphie. Or, you know, her whole name. But if you're talking about someone you're considering marrying, at some point, something more intimate than, "Oi, Tonks!" is called for.

GryffAndromeda. This may not be entirely gone, but Slughorn was fairly unequivocal about all the Blacks besides Sirius being in Slytherin, and he should know.

Point of confusion.
I'm inclined to say I'm Jossed on the question of Sirius being part of young Tonks's life--that seems to be the point of including a line--but the line and its source are confusing. Why would Ron have some particular idea that Tonks never knew Sirius before? He didn't even know what she was discussing with Molly. And more to the point, if Andromeda was Sirius's favorite cousin, then the line "the families didn't know each other before that" is patently impossible. Are we to assume that Sirius paid attention to the ban on Andromeda?

Curses! Jossed!
I wasn't actually too badly obsoleted, though there are some places where my fics are probably not quite fitting with intentions.

Snape's background, Riddle's background. I seem to have gotten the characterization decently close on Riddle, but the events... sincerely off base. Snape? Well, I got it right that it's his mother he's following, but niente on the father thing. "Invisible" lasted a whole book longer than I had any right to expect, I guess, when dealing with something bound to be addressed by canon.

Elizabeth Phelan... It was nice knowing you, Elizabeth. You were a good friend. But you've been demoted to kindly werewolf mentor for Remus, since we now have an actual back story on the biting.

Surprisingly, not falsified
Nothing in fanfic is confirmed (or safe), but a few things still seem to be standing.

Nothing seems to be in the way of "A Drift of Azaleas," the Marauders stuff in "Of A Sort" (caveat, with Elizabeth demoted to mentor), the Dumbledore or McGonagall sections, or the Tonks sorting (caveat that I got her natural hair color wrong, unless it was only mousy brown as a response to her depression). "The Doll Army" and "Your Very Own Dora," I'm confused about the new information on, as I mentioned. To be obsolete, or not to be obsolete, that is the question, and the answer is a murky line with obvious intent but lack of canon logic in its actual presentation. Wouldn't it have just been easier for Tonks to say, "I never really knew him as a kid"? (Yes, I'm desperate.)

To my utter shock--early spoilers had suggested that Lupin was going to say how he could never return Tonks's love, thus prompting my angst-fest last week, and in fact he never so much as hints that he doesn't love her--much of Shifts, with the exception of the engagement, is still plausible, and even the engagement isn't too far off, as it's clear from the infirmary scene that they've been talking about possible marriage all year, which implies that the relationship had been building before then. It's definitley possible that they had something going during OotP. Remus's werewolf assignment is referred to vaguely as something "lately" (Harry asks what he's been up to "lately"), with no reference to what he was doing in the previous year, so the Smeltings business is still plausible. I think I could even work up an explanation that Remus's new assignment as exposure to Greyback and his bizarre and disgusting lifestyle caused him to break the engagement, sending Tonks into her spiral of depression. (She did, after all, have pink hair and a cheerful countenance at the end of OotP, so something happened subsequent to her injury and Sirius's death.) I doubt it's quite in the spirit of what was intended, but I have the odd sensation that I could slip back into the Shifts world without any pscyhological adjustments to make (other than Ron's confusing line, which is making me progressively nuttier the more I think about it).

Huh. I'll have more to say as time goes on, I'm sure.

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Comments
gehayi From: gehayi Date: July 16th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
And Remus and Tonks have apparently been talking about marriage all year. So much for us R/Ters pulling things out of thin air, neh?

BZUH? If they've been talking marriage all year, shouldn't we have seen some indication of closeness in OotP? I don't mind the relationship, but I do mind the coming-out-of-left-field-ness.

Any news about Peter? I'm worried about what, if anything, of mine has been Jossed.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 16th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
They were repeatedly shown together in OotP, working closely together and enjoying one another's company. That's what R/Ters were working from in the first place!

I really am curious about Peter!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you on the total left-fieldedness of Lupin/Tonks. Yes, they do interact in OotP, but no more than anyone else. Most of the time they are depicted they are acting in a group, not as a single pair. The only exception to this would be when they returned the kids to Hogwarts on the night bus and even then there is no interaction between them.

There's nothing in OotP to discount Lupin/Tonks, but nothing to promote it over other ships. The only foreshadowing that I can see is that their names after often placed next to each other when they are listed in a group, and on that basis Remus/Sirius and Tonks/Moody are just as likely.

And the clues in HBP are so subtle that unless you shipped Lupin/Tonks you wouldn't see them. There's only really the Christmas scene where Molly gives Lupin a significant look, and Tonks's visit to Dumbledore. In fact, based on Tonks's behaviour during HBP, the Trio's conclusion that Tonks is distraught/pining/guilty over Sirius's death still seems more likely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 22nd, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's nothing in OotP to discount Lupin/Tonks, but nothing to promote it over other ships.

Yes, but now that we know what was going on, we know in retrospect that those interactions were, as R/T shippers recognized, signs of a romance--the banter in the kitchen, finishing each other's sentences, and being happy around each other. Had one of the other ships sailed, then those interactions would be the ones that meant something, obviously, but none of the others did sail.

It certainly didn't come from left field, though, for crying out loud. When as many people spotted it as spotted Lupin/Tonks after OotP, you can't seriously say there were no clues!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 23rd, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not at all surprised to find out that people ship Lupin/Tonks anymore than I would any other pairing. Virtually any pairing in this fandom will find fans. However, I would be absolutely flabbergasted to find out that it was a major ship. Certainly the amount of fanfiction or numbers on LJ comms wouldn't suggest it. When you are closely involved with a particular pairing it is easy to forget that.

And everywhere I go people seem to be boggling at the revelation, so I think my assessment that their relationship wasn't well foreshadowed is correct. Ágain I would suggest to you that while the banter etc is there, Tonks doesn't banter with Remus anymore than she does with anyone else. In fact there are even a few anti-Lupin fans, who believe that he shows contempt for Tonks by not remembering - or caring, I think some of them would say - that she prefers to be call Tonks rather than Nymphodora.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 23rd, 2005 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Er... the ship has been sailing since OotP, and has a very long thread at fictionalley, and has several fanlisting communities. Other than Remus/Sirius, it was easily the biggest of the Remus ships, and the only consistent het ship.

As I said, all of the clues could have meant something else, except that they turned out not to... they were going there. (As to the people who thought Lupin was being contemptuous toward her, that's silly--that just shows two people who know each other well, and he apparently can't remember that her current name is "Tonks." I've used my full name--Barbara--with no nickname for seventeen years now, but old friends and my family still habitually call me Barb. I certainly don't consider them contemptuous!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 23rd, 2005 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
And to address what I meant by the statement, I wasn't saying, "OMG, everyone saw this!" I was saying that quite enough people saw it independently of one another--I know I was very surprised to discover that it was a popular ship, as I thought it was my own quirky reaction when I was reading, because I adored Lupin--that it can't be written off as one person's active imagination. Neither are the other reasonably canon-based ships, including R/S, Tonks/Kingsley, etc. There's stuff there to be picked up.
furiosity From: furiosity Date: July 16th, 2005 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry has the world's least convincing break up with Ginny
Yeah, right after he has the world's least convincing getting together with Ginny. So the two even each other out.

There's nothing in the book about Narcissa being allied with Voldemort. She's scared of him, and she accepts that he's around, but I don't see her working for him. Just because she doesn't give herself up and tell the Ministry all she knows doesn't mean she's allied with him.

And there's no actual canon proof that Draco is, in fact, a Death Eater. He's working for Volders, but we never did see that Dark Mark. So, not so confirmed. :-P
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: July 17th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
And there's no actual canon proof that Draco is, in fact, a Death Eater. He's working for Volders, but we never did see that Dark Mark.

Well, Harry saw him deliberately keep his arm covered in Madam Malkin's. (You'd think they'd all be tattooed someplace less conspicuous, like a shoulder blade or something.) Besides, can you work for V. and not be a DE? Somehow I doubt it.
furiosity From: furiosity Date: July 17th, 2005 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
The deliberately-covered arm at Madam Malkin's looks just like the type of red herring JKR likes to throw out. The point is that Draco is not operating as a Death Eater. Death Eaters are, first and foremost, loyal, there is a very clear emphasis on Death Eaters' loyalty, and most of them excluding Karkaroff and possibly Snape are unquestioningly loyal, even Lucius. Draco is not loyal to Voldemort. He is terrified that his parents will die if he doesn't comply. He doesn't act like a Death Eater.

And yes, you can work for Voldemort and not be a DE. Arthur said in GoF that Voldemort got many people to work for him by threatening their families. Sound familiar? Sirius said it best, I think I referenced this above: the world is not split into good people and Death Eaters. Harry is not a member of the Order of the Phoenix, but he's "Dumbledore's man through and through". Similarly, Draco doesn't have to be a Death Eater to work for Voldemort. Death Eaters seem to be handpicked loyal servants. Voldemort would have to be pretty damn stupid to brand a sixteen-year-old who can't even Apparate to his side when called.

Draco is not a Death Eater until he openly admits it or until we see his Mark. Until then, it's not a canon fact. What little "evidence" there is pointing to his Death-Eater-ness is circumstantial at best.
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: July 17th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
and most of them excluding Karkaroff and possibly Snape are unquestioningly loyal, even Lucius.

Well, and Peter. And Regulus, who we know tried to back out and was killed. I don't think we can assume everyone feels like Bellatrix. We have no way of knowing how many others are like Regulus - and Draco - and would like to leave, but feel trapped.

Voldemort would have to be pretty damn stupid to brand a sixteen-year-old who can't even Apparate to his side when called.

Good point. And I suppose it would be foolish to send a kid to Dumbledore's school with the Dark Mark - what if a teacher saw it?
sistermagpie From: sistermagpie Date: July 18th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, Harry does not see that. Harry claims that Draco jerked his arm away when Madam Malkin tried to touch his sleeve. What Harry actually saw, in canon, was Draco jerking his arm away saying, "Ow! Watch where you stick those pins, woman!"

He was stuck with a pin, not worried about a tattoo. I thought the indications were all that he was not marked.
maple_clef From: maple_clef Date: July 16th, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy I managed to avoid the R/T spoilers (I hadn't a clue they existed), because it was nice to be stunned! Even though I did notice the Patronus, and wonder :)
liebchen127 From: liebchen127 Date: July 16th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
YES YES YES and SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!
mylla From: mylla Date: July 16th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought of you as soon as Elizabeth was demoted to mentor (I believe my exact words were, "No! Poor Fern!"). ;) I also thought of you (with joy) as soon as the Remus/Tonks became apparent. Are you proud you featured in my reading? :p

(Haven't commented in your journal for a while. :) )
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: July 16th, 2005 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was rather dejected at the first mention of "the Patil twins' parents", but then told myself that really, your Mehadi could still stand even as someone who dated Remus for awhile but has since remarried - there'd be no reason for Harry et al to know or care about the details, and "parents" is easier than saying "mum and stepdad". Your Mehadi wouldn't have pulled the twins out before Dumbledore's funeral, though... :(

What else... overall, I was mainly just thrilled when I closed the book and was still able to regard Shifts as within the realm of possibility!! I think Tonks's mousy hair was definitely more a response to her depression than her natural colour. ;) You had a bit in Shifts where Remus made a mental note to refer to her as Tonks instead of Dora in certain situations; by the end of the next year he could surely have become somewhat comfortable with that habit??

Might be a bit harder to get around Andromeda's apparent Slytherinness... although on the other hand it could have been the same sort of generalisation as "every witch or wizard who has ever gone bad came out of Slytherin". There's no reason for Slughorn to assume that Harry has ever heard of Andromeda, whereas obviously he has heard of Sirius Black, hence Sirius being mentioned by name and Andromeda conveniently left out.

I'll miss Elizabeth as the unfortunate source of Remus's lycanthropy, but I'll be happy if you can keep her as a mentor. :)

And I don't think the throwaway "their families never met" comment is more than just a throwaway... just Ron trying to express how silly he thinks Tonks is being.

Anyway... there you have a few of my thoughts. There is still much to digest. ;)
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: July 17th, 2005 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I took it as Ron not knowing a lot about Tonks... honestly, I think he had to have been.

And I sort of like that Andromeda was a slytherin.
sprite6 From: sprite6 Date: July 17th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I sort of like that Andromeda was a slytherin.

Now you mention it, so do I - between that fact and Slughorn, JKR has confirmed there are Slytherins who don't care about blood purity.
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: July 17th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. :)
wychwood From: wychwood Date: July 17th, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
*g* I almost fell off the sofa when I reached that scene in the infirmary :) Squawking "Wow! fernwithy *knew*!" as I did so, naturally. And it wasn't just the *ship*, it was the whole dynamic, the interaction we saw in that scene, which was so much what you wrote about in Shifts.

I love it when canon meets fic...
dalf From: dalf Date: July 17th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Molly is a matchmaker, and has taken Remus's happiness under her personal care.

Only after she got over Fluer at the end. There was that one point where she tried to get Bill and Tonks together and "looks at Remus as if its entirly his fault" that its not happening.

Remus calling Tonks Tonks: This was the only major thing about Shifts that I HATED! All that Dora stuff was just pulled out of the air (I think I said so in a review) and I hated it. Don't you know anyone who does not like their name and uses another one? Its rude to call someone by any name they would rather you not use. This is why most teachers will ask students what they go by on the first day of school.

Question: So are you going to do a contenued and slightly modified shifts univers? Or something new? Or nothing?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 17th, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Only after she got over Fluer at the end. There was that one point where she tried to get Bill and Tonks together and "looks at Remus as if its entirly his fault" that its not happening.

Er... I thought that was the kids' misinterpretation of what was really going on, and Tonks had been crying on Molly's shoulder about Remus all year. The implication of the hospital scene is that Molly has been on Remus's case all along, and never had any desire whatsoever toward Tonks/Bill.
dalf From: dalf Date: July 18th, 2005 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh good point. Not sure now. I will go back and read that scene again later tonight and see. But, I think you are correct because Molly DOES say "Mad-eye and Remus will be for dinner" when she invites Tonks. Infact I suspect you are right .... I guess I am just a little slow.
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: July 18th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
U guessed it there!
dalf From: dalf Date: July 19th, 2005 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
No no I did not guess it ..... I got it wrong and had to ahve it pointed out ;P
chicleeblair From: chicleeblair Date: July 18th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've got to tell you, my mom and I were reading it aloud, and when The Remus/Tonks Moment happened I go "Fern'll be happy"

My mom was like what? Added to that I was laughing rather hysterically, and she was like "Is this another one of those fanfic things?"
sreya From: sreya Date: July 20th, 2005 12:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Some werewolves deliberately transform near chosen victims.
Buh? They can? I thought Greyback was doing that in human form -- guess I'll have to check that section more carefully. I was a bit more focused on Harry, GB was more an annoyance than anything else.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 20th, 2005 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
That was in the Christmas section, when he said that Greyback stalked his victims and positioned himself near them on full moons in order to bite them.
sreya From: sreya Date: July 20th, 2005 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wait, I misread what you meant. I thought you meant werewolves can deliberately transform outside the full moon time -- like at quarter moon and stuff.

That's what I get for reading until 3am and then trying to decipher journal posts. :~p
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 22nd, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi! I love Shifts and I used to comment on it over it SQ but i just had to come over here and say when I read about Remus/Tonks I squeeled and thought of you! It made that scene in HBP so much better because I read Shifts. :)

Mariposa
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