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trying a thing where I crosspost meta from tumblr to LJ! also stil working on tumblr posts I promise!

So I was thinking about writing some femmeslash, yeah? Working on it, actually. In part because, did you know, in the entire universe of AO3 there are four fics where Angelina Johnson is in any sort of sapphic relationship? And one of them involves a foursome with the Weasley twins. And I like Angelina a lot, and dislike that state of affairs. And then was thinking about the existence of the femmeslash and ageism panel at Leviosa and thought maybe I'd write a different pairing, with adult women.

I couldn't think of any.

I asked about it on tumblr, and got a few suggestions: Angelina Johnson, Parvati and Padma Patil, Cho Chang, Hermione, the mothers of Blaise, Cho, Parvati, and Dean. But.

Angelina Johnson was born in 1977, Cho Chang in 1979, and Parvati and Padma in 1980. We don’t see Angelina after she leaves Hogwarts at 17. Cho, Padma, and Parvati are 19 and 18 during the Battle of Hogwarts. Adult WOC? Maybe technically, legally. Actual, realized adult WOC? No.

Hermione is not written as a black character. I’ve talked about that at length here. Black Hermione is a fandom creation/interpretation and while (because?) I love it, I don’t want to give JK Rowling credit for representation she didn’t write in to the books. Credit for black Hermione belongs to the fans. Besides which, Hermione is barely an adult in the series - maybe a dozen pages, out of thousands.

The idea that characters whose race we don’t know about might be POC is interesting and good in that it gives fandom room to fix the lack of representation, but I don’t think that’s actually how it’s written. See here again, and prepare for it to get even worse: when I went through the books looking at this, I found that JKR consistently adds descriptors in two cases: when characters aren’t white, and when characters aren’t human.

Professor Sinistra might complicate that because she’s played by a black actress, but her race is not confirmed in the text (which, if that descriptive pattern holds, means she was imagined as white) and we also don’t get a first name or gender, let alone a line of dialogue. (source) She’s become an adult WOC in fanon, but an adult WOC in canon? Not in any definitive sense.

Their moms are maybe even more interesting. Take the five Gryffindor boys - Harry, Ron, Neville, and Seamus all have mothers whose history and reactions become important plot points. What do we know about Dean’s mother? We know that she was a single mother. That’s it. I’m sitting here with a copy of Deathly Hallows - Dean is present when the Trio overhear Ted Tonks and Goblins talking about the Sword of Gryffindor, and he says that he doesn’t know whether he’s Muggle-born or half-blood because his father left when he was a baby, but that’s it. We don’t hear anything about his mother’s reaction to him making a run for it, where she is, any of that. He’s tortured in the cellar of Malfoy Manor and spends weeks with the trio at Shell Cottage, and there’s no mention of his mother, of him trying to get in touch with her, missing her, any of it.  Of the five boys who share a room, the black character’s mother is the only one we don’t learn about. Same with the girls. We know more about Mariette Edgecombe’s mother than we do about Cho Chang’s, even though Harry spends much more time with Cho and has a pretty vested interest in learning about her for a couple of books. Sort of ditto Blaise, as well. He’s the POC character whose mother we know the most about, but we don’t ever see her, and what we know is that she’s famous for being beautiful, having many different husbands, and possibly killing them. Sooo she’s a hypersexual suspected murderer who only accesses wealth by having sex and killing. She manages to play to terrible stereotypes without ever actually appearing in the pages. Which she doesn’t.

So the WOC we see on the page are all young. The adult women who are definitely WOC are only implied, and are implied to be a potentially violent and hypersexual black woman and the single mother of a black child, and neither of them ever says a word.

Is that representation? Can we say there are adult WOC in the Harry Potter series if their race is never confirmed (in a series where whiteness and humanness are not written in but everything else is) and/or they never appear on the page? Is there (maybe, hopefully) anyone I'm fogetting? Or is the HP series actually completely missing confirmed, speaking, adult WOC?
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