dicta_contrion: (Default)
2025-05-11 11:51 pm
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Masterlist

Hello! And thanks for visiting my masterlist!

Below you'll find my policies on friending and transformative works, a hopefully up-to-date masterlist of my fic, and a hopefully up-to-date masterlist of my recs on tumblr. Enjoy, and please feel free to say hello!

Friending Policy )

Transformative Works Policy )



Masterlist of Fic

Most easily viewed on AO3

Harry/Draco )

Other Slash )

Het )


Masterlist of Recs (all H/D)
Want to make a request? Read this first, then go here to ask!) Not currently taking requests, but check here for daily recs!

 

By Genre )

By Era )

By Length )

By Trope )

By Career )

By Featured Character )

By Type of Smut )

Misc. )
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2017-01-16 06:34 pm

Fandom Trumps Hate! (Want me to beta your fic? Or write you one?)

Along with several other fantastic H/D authors, I'm participating in Fandom Trumps Hate, an auction of fanworks and fan labor to raise money for groups that will be organizing to protect civil rights, civil liberties, marginalized groups and people, and our natural world.

Interested? You can read the FAQ here, check out the HP-related auctions here, find other fandoms here (0-9 and A-M) and here (N-Z), and find my auctions here! Auctions run until 11:59 EST on January 19th, and you don't need to be on tumblr to bid, just an email address.

I'm offering two auctions, one for beta services and one for fic writing, in exchange for a donation to your choice of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or the Southern Poverty Law Center. Details under the cuts!

Auction #1: Fic )


Auction #2: Betaing )



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2017-01-08 07:11 pm
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Hi, Dreamwidth!!

Er....that's really the whole point of the post? Hi! On Dreamwidth!

Making the move on account of the LJ server switch. And...here! Clearly, starting on a substantive note.

If you've made the move over here from HD/Fandom circles elsewhere, please say hi!! I don't want to lose touch with people in the proccess!
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2016-11-20 10:34 am
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Love meme!!




Oh my gosh, y'all!!!! This is the best? [livejournal.com profile] lokifan is the most brill and this is such a good, amazing, needed idea rn!!

I started poking around Friday and was genuinely too overwhelmed to take it all in, but left a few comments and have been poking in here and there to leave more, and lemme say, loving up on you find folks is doing good things for my heart. As is getting the love, which has blown me right the heck away. Thank you all for being such an amazing community!! It's an honor to be here with you ♥♥♥♥♥

Now go leave people some love!! I'll be doing the same!!
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2016-09-27 11:42 pm

Suit and Tied (for birdsofshore)

Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore!!!! You are such a source of joy and humor and kindness and encouragement and thoughtfulness and enthusiasm and brain-meltingly hot smut wonderfully moving stories, and it is a constant delight to know you. Thank you for all you do, and all you give to all of us!! Here's hoping that you've got a wonderful year coming, full of good adventures and creativity and happiness. Below, a meager offering in fandom-style celebration of your birth. Hoping you enjoy, and wishing you a very, very happy birthday!!!

Title: Suit and Tied

Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter

Rating: NC-17

Word Count: 7k

Warnings/Enticements: Suit Kink, Leather Jackets, Banter, mildly dubious consent in the sense that no one gives verbal consent but mostly because they are way more into it than they are willing to admit, Blow Jobs, Face-Fucking, Rimming, Anal Sex, Office Sex, Light Bondage, Tension

Summary: Harry can’t get Malfoy off his mind. Or maybe he just wants to get Malfoy off. No, wait. That definitely isn't it. He just needs a few questions answered.

A/N: Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] disapparater for a speedy and thorough beta! There was some post-beta tinkering, and any remaining errors are my own. Thanks too, to [livejournal.com profile] shiftylinguini for ensuring my ongoing attachment to this Harry’s leather jacket! And to [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore, of course, for being born and giving me a delightful excuse to skive off for a bit and write smutty, bantery fic! While this is a sequel to Moneymaker, it is mostly smut so it can probably be read on its own!

On AO3

Suit and Tied )
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2016-09-19 04:41 pm

Call or Delete (for writcraft)

Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] writcraft!! It was phenomenal to meet you this summer, and an honor to hear your thoughts and sit on your panels and generally bask in your genius. You do so much in fandom, and I’m routinely blown away by all of it – the thoughtfulness of your meta, the loveliness of your art, your supportiveness and organization in modding and commenting, and always, always, the incredible, immersive, brilliance of your stories.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all of it. Wishing you a very happy birthday and a wonderful year full of creativity and happiness and exciting new adventures!! And throwing in a bit of angst and silliness to help kick it off! ♥


Title: Call or Delete
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Lee Jordan

Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2.7k
Warnings/Enticements: references to sex, awkwardness via unfortunate radio show games, angst, and un-betaed-ness.
Summary: It was just meant to be a bit of cross-promotion, but luck has very rarely been on Draco’s side.

A/N: [livejournal.com profile] writcraft, you and I share a couple of fandoms/ships, and I couldn’t decide which write in, and the idea of borrowing a sort-of trope from one (or two?) and sticking it in the other sort of…. appeared and then wouldn’t let go. For which I might be quite sorry, given the possibility that that tips this closer to crack-in-the-bad-way than might be ideal! Alas, they were all just too tenacious for me. No rush to read, and hope you enjoy whenever the time comes! And most of all, a very happy birthday to you!!

Read on AO3


Call or Delete )

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2016-08-18 03:38 pm
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Tumblr 102: Q&A

Previously on: Tumblr as a Coffee Shop AU: the shape of tumblr community; Tumblr 101: Setting Up Your Blog, Tumblr 101: Content, Tumblr 101: Communication

A collection of questions that have come up along the way and that go beyond the basics. These are not things you *need* to know in order to use and enjoy tumblr, but things people have asked about and that others may want to know. Plus an updated list of bloggers, reccers, authors, and artists to check out!

Q1. How do I create dialogue? )

Q2. How do I create community? )

Q3. What are networks, squads, and promos? )

Q4. What are mutuals? )

Q5. What is the etiquette for talking to new people? )

Q6. How do I find the OP for a post? (image heavy) )

Q7: How do I find the original posting date for a post? (image heavy) )

Q8. How do I read notes efficiently? (image heavy) )

Q9. When I like something, who gets the like? )

Q10. What is blacklisting and how does it work? (image heavy) )

Q11. How do I make a static web page? (image heavy) )

Q12. How do I make an automatically updating web page? (image heavy) )

Q13. How do I redirect to an external web page? (image heavy) )

Q14. Where do I go for help? (image heavy) )


And that brings us to the end of the series! If you've got more questions, you can ask them below!

Lastly, as promised, an updated list of blogs to check out, including HP and H/D bloggers, authors, artists, and recs, and blogs of general interest. If you've gotten a tumblr and you're not on the list, please let me know about it in the comments and I'll add you!!  The list is on tumblr because omg coding and also because hey, you're ready to use tumblr now! Here it is! Go check it out!!

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2016-07-26 10:30 am
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Tumblr 101: Communication

Previously on: Tumblr as a Coffee Shop AU: the shape of tumblr community; Tumblr 101: Setting Up Your Blog, Tumblr 101: Content

You've got a tumblr, you're following some people and looking at things. How do you talk to other people?

Q1) How can I communicate through tumblr? (image heavy) )

Q2) How does tagging work? )

Q3) What are some tumblr community norms? )

Next on: one last post! Tumblr 102: answers to more specific questions, and an updated list of blogs to check out.

Please comment below if you have more questions about tumblr, and please let me know if you have a tumblr (or tumblrs) you'd like people to know about!
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2016-07-25 04:00 pm

Are there any adult WOC in HP canon?

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.

I am not convinced. )

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?
dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-07-18 10:30 am
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Tumblr 101: Content

Previously on: Tumblr as a Coffee Shop AU: the shape of tumblr community; Tumblr 101: Setting Up Your Blog

Okay, so you’ve got a tumblr, you’re all logged in, ready to go. You need stuff to look at!

Tumblr content is pretty different from livejournal or AO3 or ff.net or youtube content. There are many more kinds of it, which use different skill sets. Some of those may be unfamiliar and therefore seem invisible (often the case with gifmakers), but still are the product of fannish passion and vision - just in many different forms.

In that sense, tumblr is a much more accessible, democratic platform. Fans don't need to have the time, tools, training, experience, education, or English-language fluency it takes to make traditional fan art or to write traditional fic or meta. That means that many more voices can participate.

Speaking of, content on tumblr is part of the conversation. When someone makes a Draco Malfoy aesthetic post or casts Harry Potter as desi, they're saying "this is how I see this world," and you can like or reblog to show that you agree or approve or want more people to see that conception of the HP 'verse. (or that you think it's really pretty and a job well done.) When you reblog something you're helping to curate your followers' experience of fandom - what the HP world looks like to them, what ideas they might consider, what ideas might inform their views of characters/ships/events.

So - what is it all, and how do you find it?

Q1. What types of content will I find on tumblr? )

Q2. How do I find content? )

Q3-4. How do I find blogs and decide who to follow? )

Q5-6. Anything I should know about posting or reblogging? (image-heavy) )

Next on: communicating via tumblr, what's up with tumblr tags, tumblr community norms

As always, questions welcome!
dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-07-15 09:00 am
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Tumblr 101: Setting Up Your Blog

Previously on: Tumblr as a Coffee Shop AU: the shape of tumbr community

This time: setting up your tumblr!! deciding whether you want a tumblr account, usernames, primary blogs vs sideblogs, themes, and settings.

This post gets into a lot of the nitty-gritty of how to fine-tune the look of your blog and your privacy and communication settings. If you're not interested in those details (which is fine - you don't need to understand it all to use tumblr) stick to questions 1-2 and 13-15, and come back next time for more about how to find the content you want and the blogs you want to follow.

1. Do I want a tumblr account? )

Q2-4. How do I pick and manage usernames? (image-heavy) )

Q5-8. What are primary blogs and sideblogs, and how are they different? )

Q9-11. How do I change and choose my tumblr's appearance? (image-heavy) )Q12. What settings should I be aware of? )

Q13-15. What are tumblr savior and xkit, and why do I want them? (image-heavy) )

As always, questions welcome!

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2016-07-13 10:30 am
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Tumblr as a Coffee Shop AU: the shape of tumblr community

A caveat: this is almost certainly an imperfect metaphor. But while there is community on tumblr, it works differently than community on lj - more like building community in (an idealized version of) a coffee shop than (an idealized version of) a dinner party. And since community was at the top of so many lists, a bit of overview/context is likely useful before getting into the details.

1) Livejournal is a dinner party )

2-3) tumblr is a coffee shop )

4) Isn't everyone on tumblr super rude? Or: wank vs hate )

5-6) How/can you actually make friends on tumblr? )

Upcoming: how to set up and use tumblr, the content that's out there and how to find it, how to find blogs to follow, how different interactive tools are used, tumblr norms, how to create dialog, and reblogging as fandom participation. Also happy to take more questions!
dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-07-12 09:00 pm
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LeviosAAAAHHH

Still recovering from Leviosa and may not be back at total and complete coherence, but also don't want to forget anything!! It was a fantastic time, and incredible to be so deeply immersed in HP and H/D and fandom and surrounded by people who get fandom.

Highlights under the cut! )

Now winding down and trying to readjust to life in the 'real' world (pshaw). Loving the term condrop (and who else would have thought of that? love fandom. love it.) but not so much the experience! I had grand aspirations for work today and then didn't put on real pants until it was time to go get dinner. New plans for the remainder of the day include a cupcake, possibly a movie, and working on that tumblr post. But for all that I'm knackered and missing the experience, it was absolutely worth it and I'm feeling so much love and appreciation for all of you who made it what it was, and for all of you who weren't there but make this community what it is.

Speaking of that tumblr post if there are things you'd like to know about tumblr, please weigh in here or in the comments below! And if you want to start exploring, I've got a list of blogs going here! And if you're an H/D or HP tumblr user and/or and H/D author or artist, please let me know so I can add you to the list!

tl;dr: It was a great experience, and something I'd love to do again one of these days - hopefully with more of you there!
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2016-07-10 09:18 pm
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What do you want to know about tumblr?

[livejournal.com profile] leviosa2016 has been a blast!! So many thought-provoking panels, and so many amazing, fantastic, phenomenal, creative, excited, exciting fellow fans!!

One theme that's come up, particularly in yesterday's H/D Panel (which...still fangirling a little, ngl) but elsewhere as well is the continuing divide between tumblr and lj. As it happens, and as some of you may already know, I'm a bit of a tumblr enthusiast, and I've volunteered to put together a "tumblr 101" post (perhaps a bit like this but in reverse) for the great many people who are interested in exploring that side of fandom but are put off by the mysteries of how tumblr works.

While I think I got a sense for what people might find helpful, I'd like to put out general questions to anyone who thought of something post-panel or heard tumblr discussed elsewhere and open it to everyone who wasn't at Leviosa.

What would you like to know about how to use tumblr? What sorts of content do you want to find? (Fan art? Fic? Fic recs? Headcanon posts? Aesthetics? Meta? Gifs and gifets? fancasts?) What sorts of interactions would you like to have? Are there particular things you find confusing about the interface, community norms, anything at all?

It'll probably take about a week (thanks, work) to get the post up, and I suspect we may need more than one (which is fine!!! I am so, so, so, so excited about more people finding new fannish content and maaaaaybe hopefully becoming more active!!! Three exclamation points doesn't really cover it!!!) but please, ask away, and I'll see what I can do!


Also, to follow up on a few things mentioned over the course of the weekend, links to: my masterlist of recs (also available, though less organized, on tumblr), daily h/d quotes (which are also recs), my (more recent) salty tumblr rants, tumblr posts about representation, tumblr posts about queerness in the HP canon, the recent discussion about the term "genderbend," and my ask box for anyone who's got questions and wants to ask them on tumblr.

More soon! And please, ask away!
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2016-07-05 07:32 pm

Moneymaker (Part 1 of 2)

Title: Moneymaker
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 16.5k
Warnings/Enticements: suits, martinis, leather jackets, Draco in the muggle world, Muggle/wizard relations, Auror!Harry, Banker!Draco, Negotiations, Banter, Mildly Dubious Consent, Kink Negotiation, Blow Jobs, Face-Fucking, Anal Sex, Office Sex, Suit Kink, Praise Kink, Dom/sub undertones, Tension
A/N: This was my fic for the always fabulous [livejournal.com profile] dracotops_harry fest, and since it's been, oh, two months since reveals (*headdesk*) seemed a good time to claim it! Many many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] disapparater for the wonderful beta and britpick and support, to [livejournal.com profile] gracerene for the fantastically fun prompt, to [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore for cheerleading and flailing with me, and to [livejournal.com profile] shiftylinguini for INCREDIBLE art to go along with this! (Have you seen it? You must! It's absolutely magnificent and I was entirely agog upon seeing it for the first time and still am, really.)

Summary: As a top trader, Draco has power and money, suits and cars, houses and good champagne - everything a person could want. So when Auror Potter comes looking for help, Draco can't think of anything that might persuade him to lend a hand.

Well...maybe one thing.

Here on AO3//On to Part 2

Moneymaker, Pt. 1 )

dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-07-05 07:29 pm

Moneymaker (Part 2 of 2)

Title: Moneymaker
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 16.5k
Warnings/Enticements: suits, martinis, leather jackets, Draco in the muggle world, Muggle/wizard relations, Auror!Harry, Banker!Draco, Negotiations, Banter, Mildly Dubious Consent, Kink Negotiation, Blow Jobs, Face-Fucking, Anal Sex, Office Sex, Suit Kink, Praise Kink, Dom/sub undertones, Tension
A/N: This was my fic for the always fabulous [livejournal.com profile] dracotops_harry fest, and since it's been, oh, two months since reveals (*headdesk*) seemed a good time to claim it! Many many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] disapparater for the wonderful beta and britpick and support, to [livejournal.com profile] gracerene for the fantastically fun prompt, to [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore for cheerleading and flailing with me, and to [livejournal.com profile] shiftylinguini for INCREDIBLE art to go along with this! (Have you seen it? You must! It's absolutely magnificent and I was entirely agog upon seeing it for the first time and still am, really.)

Summary: As a top trader, Draco has power and money, suits and cars, houses and good champagne - everything a person could want. So when Auror Potter comes looking for help, Draco can't think of anything that might persuade him to lend a hand.

Well...maybe one thing.

Here on AO3//Return to Part 1

Moneymaker, Pt. 2 )

dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-05-15 01:43 pm

H/D Recs: Praise Kink

While I'm catching up on my tardiness this weekend (*hangs head in shame*) there are some recs I've been meaning to make for a long time. (There are actually many more than this. Like recs from dracotopsharry, and recs from erised. I am so behind omg BUT CATCHING UP and these are the two that have been waiting the longest, I'm so sorry authors!)

Anyway!
Thoughts about praise kink )

Fic and art recs! )

If anyone knows of more I'd be interested to know about them. And, obviously, I recommend checking these out!
dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-05-14 04:22 pm

A Million Birthday Thanks!!

This post is so terribly, embarassingly belated (I'm sorry! This month has been a shitshow but that's a story for another post!) and I hope you'll forgive me, but I absolutely could not skip making it when there was so much fandom love that made my birthday at least a thousand times better. So from the bottom of my very tardy heart: thank you!!

Especially thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lumosed_quill for an absolutely delicious-looking v-gift and to LQ and [livejournal.com profile] eidheann_writes, [livejournal.com profile] capitu, [livejournal.com profile] blithelybonny, [livejournal.com profile] nia_kantorka, [livejournal.com profile] ani_mage, [livejournal.com profile] khalulu, [livejournal.com profile] zeitgeistic, [livejournal.com profile] smirkingcat, [livejournal.com profile] khalulu, [livejournal.com profile] disapparater, [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore, [livejournal.com profile] gracerene, and [livejournal.com profile] firethesound for lovely birthday messages and emails!!

ALSO, if you have not yet seen them, I absolutely recommend high-tailing it over to the following incredible gifts!

Unexpected by [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore - NC-17, 5 x 100 words
Birds described this as "a little recreational hair-pulling for your birthday" but it's by birds so clearly we know it's going to be more than that. And lo and behold, it is. Five drabbles - all of which do feature the aforementioned hair-pulling - and each one is fantastic and full of delicious tension. And then together they tell this story that's all about how their relationship changes, and with that about how one act can take on so many different meanings within the same relationship. It's beautifully written and just...go read it!

Orchideous by [livejournal.com profile] anemonen - G, digital art
This is a scene from my fic Any Instrument and while I don't think Ane knew this, it's one of my favorite scenes. She did a phemomenal job of capturing it. Phenomenal. Harry looks so focused and open (and his eyelashes! I didn't notice them before but Ane, they're a perfect detail) and the colors fit the mood I had in mind beautifully. It's always an incredible gift to see something I've written come to life, and to see how it looks in someone else's mind, and on top of that this just hits the nail on the head. And on top of being perfect for the scene, it's a beautiful drawing, full of detail and movement and color, and you will most certainly enjoy having a gander!!

In conclusion: fandom is the best. You are all the best. Fandom and you make life that much richer, and I am grateful for it every day of the year!
dicta_contrion: (Default)
2016-01-16 03:49 pm

Any Instrument (claiming my erised!)

Title: Any Instrument
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 131,000
Warnings:Magical disability and the diagnosis and treatment thereof, addressing mental health issues, explorations of identity and self-worth in the aftermath of war, attempts (some successful) to manipulate Harry for the sake of politics, brief accidental voyeurism, coming to terms with sexuality
Enticements: Slow build, mystery, medicine, politics, angst (but not forever!), wandlore, wandless magic, drapples, Slytherins, Unspeakables, the Ministry, an asexual secondary character, dinner parties, coming out, awkward first times, long walks, Wiltshire, Paris, kittens, breakfast, snark, and a happy ending
Summary: Draco Malfoy wouldn't go back to England for anything less than an exceptional case. Being asked to figure out why Harry Potter can't control his magic might be exceptional enough to qualify.



In lieu of Author's Notes, extended flailing in three parts!

First, to my incredible recipients, [livejournal.com profile] femmequixotic and [livejournal.com profile] noeon. Writing for you was truly an honor and a pleasure. Your work, together and individually, is at the heart of my HP fandom origin story. I was amazed, blown away, in awe, and enraptured to discover your stories, which build beautiful worlds and give these characters extraordinary complexity and depth. I've often taken comfort in them in rough moments, escaping to your worlds for an evening to visit other countries, or be reminded that change and love are always possible, or to experience the beautiful, complicated, human love that your characters discover for themselves. To call that a gift is a massive understatement, but I'm at a loss for a better word, so: thank you for the many incredible gifts you've given to fandom, and me, over the years. And for giving me a good reason, with this story, to try stepping up my game. Having you as recipients was the kick I needed to take a risk and try something bigger, deeper, more elaborate, something that I hoped would give the characters a chance to grow and the world to develop. I'm absolutely thrilled (again, understatement!) that you enjoyed it!! And thank you for your lovely comments, too! ♥

Second, I know it's corny to say it takes a village, but it does. Huge, massive, oceans of thanks to my beta and brit-picker [livejournal.com profile] disapparater, who saw this through from infancy to posting, who answered a million questions and caught all my Zs and let me ramble on endlessly and replied thoughtfully and who, most importantly, really is my editor, and told me what wasn't working, when scenes needed more depth, when I needed to stop being lazy and do another rewrite. You were right, and this story wouldn't be what it is without you. No question about it. More village!! Many, many thanks go to [livejournal.com profile] eidheann_writes for being The Fixer (Ficser? Ficxer?) and talking about this way into the wee hours and for telling me to explore the relationship between Harry's emotions and the wand. Wound up being kind of important!! To [livejournal.com profile] firethesound for use of her dining table and for visiting mine and for lots of very productive word-making and excellent conversation. To [livejournal.com profile] ani_mage for great conversations and for pre-reading the first 2/3 and, among othe things, reassuring me that they weren't secretly terribly offensive w/r/t disability and asexuality. To [livejournal.com profile] sophie_french for entertaining a ridiculous number of questions about France, including some urgent last-minute inquiries that must have seemed truly bizarre ("Urgent!! In Paris, in 2008, did Starbucks cups have logos?") but that were always handled with aplomb and kindness and reassuring speed. To everyone who joined me in chatzy sprints for keeping me on task and for cheerleading and support. And to the mods, [livejournal.com profile] capitu, [livejournal.com profile] sassy_cissa, and [livejournal.com profile] gracerene, for being encouraging and patients, for giving me an extension (or three...I'm sorry! Thank you!) so I could edit this behemoth properly, for catching stealth typos, for uploading to AO3, and for making [livejournal.com profile] hd_erised the incredible event that it is. And to all of you, for moments of support and friendship that have ben more valuable than I can ever say. And to everyone who has left comments on Any Instrument, or who left bolstering comments on other stories while I was in the process of writing - thank you!

Third, a few thoughts about process and writing. )

Erised recs to follow soon - what an embarassment of riches this fest was!! And, again, unending thanks and love to everyone who helped this story come into existence, or who read it and left comments and kudos, and to everyone who will. Goodness, do I love fandom.
dicta_contrion: (Default)
2015-12-21 09:27 pm

Cursed Child Casting + JKR's reaction + Retconning Race? = Thoughts

SO DAMN EXCITED about Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. Unequivocally really, really excited. I love the racebending headcanons and fan art on tumblr and love how widespread they've become. I love and very much appreciate that the writers and producers of The Cursed Child made this chocie, and I'm very excited for Hermione as a black woman to become an official part of the wider HP verse.

I'm also glad that JK Rowling came out in support of it. I haven't gone fishing for it (value my blood pressure, thankyouverymuch) but am given to understand that there was a substantial backlash to the idea that Hermione could be black, to which JKR said:
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione. (image under the cut) )

Which strikes me as important on a number of levels. That JKR is willing to wade into this and stand behind the choice and the actress, that she's explicitly refuting racist claims that Hermione can't be black for any number of bullshit reasons, and that she's affirming the fans who think of Hermione as black.

And I love these headcanons for a reason! They're smart and they're important and I see absolutely no reason why Hermione can't be black, and think some things about the series get way cooler if she is black.

example of awesome headcanon under the cut )

But something about JKR's response is sitting uneasily with me.

Partly it feels like shades of Dumbledore again. "Oh, did I not mention? My books were full of representation, how did you not notice that?"

Partly it bothers me for the same reasons that the post-canon Dumbledore-is-gay proclamation bothers me: because if you're going to claim to have written representative characters, and you're going to claim brownie points for representation, you need to do the work of representation.

In the same general way that Dumbledore's sexuality changes the story, I can't imagine* that Hermione's race wouldn't change the story. There are some ways - like those mentioned in the headcanon above - that would give the story more depth and significance. But even if JKR is open to Hermione being black, I don't think she intended that originally** and there are parts of the book that read differently to me, not necessarily in a good way, if she's actually intended it all along. Things like
what it means that Hermione is Muggle-born, her reaction to being called a Mudblood, what motivates her to fight Voldemort, S.P.E.W and house-elf activism, and hair-straightening at the Yule Ball. )

I'm not sure where all that leaves me. Still feeling really very excited that Noma Dumezweni will be playing Hermione Granger. Glad that people are being asked to question the assumption that the default is white. Happy that the qualities I think of as being most associated with Hermione - incredible intelligence, loyalty, conviction, skill, and moral integrity (and, for/from the audience, relatability and lovability) - are being assigned to a black character. That a black actress was picked to play a character who has all those qualities, and in a role that will almost undoubtedly be commercially successful. This is a powerful, important thing, and exactly as it should be.

But also, not believing that JKR really meant to leave Hermione's race open to interpretation. Feeling like if JKR did mean to make Hermione's race open to interpretation, she didn't really do the work of thinking through how race would have affected Hermione in important ways - like the source of her ideological convictions, her motivations for fighting, and her conception of her own desirability. And feeling like this kind of post-hoc representation doesn't work. That you can't retcon race, or sexuality, or any other number of identities, because those aren't boxes you check, they're real identities that affect the way we see and move through the world.

Maybe my tl;dr here is that while Hermione should be black, and definitely should be able to be black, Hermione wasn't meant to be black, and retroactively superimposing blackness on her character isn't as simple as waving a magic wand. (pun totally intended) Making as though representation is as simple as changing a character's skin color after the fact undermines the complexity and centrality of having a marginalized identity, and gives white audiences another reason to embrace the idea of colorblindness instead of having to examine how racial experience change one's experience of the world. At some point it becomes an act of erasure instead of representation, by reducing race to skin color (or any other number of identities to other attributes) instead of exploring the ways that living with specific identities, in a world where those identities create or limit our opportunities, changes who we are, what we do, and why we do it. I still want Noma Dumezweni to play Hermione. I still want to have a black Hermione. I want that very much. I just hope that as the team behind The Cursed Child shape the character, they consider what that means, in all its complexity.

But I don't know that I really do final thoughts on this. I am, however, very curious to hear what other people make of the casting choice. Thoughts?


footnotes: why I think Hermione was intended to be white, Are Muggle-borns a disadvantaged group?, hat-tips, the role of class, epistemic privilege, things that suck are still real )