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Entire Fandom Leaves
The entire fandom has finally come to an inevitable conclusion that can no longer be ignored. “I’m going to miss this place,” says Romilda Wimsey, looking one last time at Mugglenet before slowly turning off her computer. Miles away in New Zealand, Paul K. is having similar thoughts of mourning. A frequent poster on FictionAlley Park, he will no longer be able to debate and discuss aspects of the Harry Potter series, as he has done nearly every day for the last year and a half. “I made lots of friends here,” he says. “But it’s true, what Tarquina says, I have to go. If I don’t like part of the books, I should just leave the fandom.”
Thousands of fans have realized the truth in the words of Tarquina, written in her online journal last Saturday. “Oh my God, I am so sick of this,” she typed, minutes before posting the entry that would change the lives of fans forever. “If people are going to complain about the shipping, or the plot, or Snape killing Dumbledore, you know what? They should just leave the fandom. Why are they still here? They don’t appreciate Jo’s work, and they aren’t true fans.”
“I really do love these books,” reflects Elizabeth S. Norrington, a fan of the series since 2003. “I love the characters, I love the entire world of the series. But I hated Ron/Hermione, I didn’t like the way it was written. I’m not responding the way J. K. Rowling wants me to respond, and out of respect for her I should stop writing about my inferior opinions. Who am I to go against the author? I was supposed to like Ron/Hermione, and I didn’t. J. K., if you read this, I’m really sorry.”
A mere five hours ago, The Last Horcrux would have celebrated Norrington’s departure. That was before she realized that she too was going against Rowling’s wishes. “I loved all the shipping in HBP,” she says. “So I thought Tarquina’s post didn’t apply to me. But then I remembered that I hate Dobby. I do, I think he’s an annoying little weirdo. I just spent the last few hours trying to convince myself to like him, but I can’t do it. And I should like him, because he helps Harry. But I don’t.”
Even Tarquina herself is leaving the fandom; forty-two minutes after posting her journal entry, she realized that her secret liking for Lucius Malfoy put her into the category of dissenter as well. She has since deleted all her fanfiction, sold her copies of the books, and burned her Hufflepuff t-shirt.
With millions of fans, only a fraction of who discuss the books on the Internet, the Harry Potter series is sure to continue to sell well despite the fandom exodus. Still, it has publishers worried; a Bloomsbury insider reports that the executives of the company called an emergency meeting to discuss the impact. “We just put out the sixth book in paperback, so this is coming at a bad time,” she says.
“Things just won’t be the same,” Romilda Wimsey says. “I guess I’ll have to go back to LotR now. Tolkien’s dead and I won’t be able to hurt and insult him the way I hurt and insulted Rowling.”
Dear HP Queer Theorist,
One of my fandom friends and I have “known” each other online since 2004, and as we live only forty-five miles from each other, we want to meet. However, my parents think that meeting someone you met on the Internet is a stupid and dangerous idea. I told them that they could come with me to meet my friend if they wanted to, but they still won’t let me go. Is there anything I can say or do to convince them that I can meet someone from the Internet and not get murdered?
I Wanna Meet Annie
The closet, in both its physical and metaphorical forms, plays a part in the series from the second chapter of the first book. Not only do the Dursleys force Harry to sleep in the cupboard, or closet, under the stairs, but they live in fear that his magical abilities – his difference from the rest of the family – will be discovered. When Harry enters the wizarding world, he meets people like himself and finds a new culture and identity.
Dear HP Queer Theorist,
My boyfriend and I have been together for seven months, but lately I’ve realized that I’d rather be talking about HP on the Internet than spend time with him. I didn’t feel like that for the first few months of our relationship, but I wasn’t as into the fandom then either. How can I figure out if this has to do with him or if I’m getting an Internet addiction? He just doesn’t interest me that much anymore.
Hooked On Harry
If we accept magic as a metaphor for homosexuality, Hermione’s parents become the parents supportive of their gay daughter. Rather than deny or suppress her “otherness”, they accept it and make a few ventures into the wizarding world. However, Hermione’s parents will never fully be a part of this aspect of her life. When Hermione tells Harry in OotP that being a prefect is something that her parents can understand, the difference between her life and the lives of her parents is highlighted.
Dear HP Queer Theorist,
Someone on my friends list has recently gotten really into another fandom, and talks about it a lot on her journal. I’m not interested in this fandom, and I friended her because of her HP-related posts. Is it okay if I defriend her? It’s nothing against her personally, but her new fandom doesn’t interest me at all and she’s only written about HP once in her last twenty entries.
The very nature of the wizarding world easily lends itself to queer comparisons. It is a world hidden from outsiders, though some outsiders are aware of it due to their connections with its members. The use of The Leaky Cauldron as the entrance to Diagon Alley is reminiscent of the gay bar scene and the way that it often initiates queer youth into the culture.