HP Fandom’s Finest News Source
by Andrew Simmons
My daughter Sarah is in the eleventh grade now. These are tough years for a parent – the teenage years are when a lot of kids experiment with drinking, drugs, and pre-marital sex. You’ve got to be careful, even if you’ve always tried to raise them right. It’s hard to monitor your kid’s behavior at a time when they’re becoming more independent, but it’s important.
The thing is, I don’t always have a lot of resources to tell me about the things going on in Sarah’s life – and don’t think Sarah’s going to tell me herself! If Sarah was, say, hanging out with the wrong crowd, I’m sure that the pastor at our church or a good psychologist would be able to give Tina and me some advice about how to help her. If Sarah had an eating disorder, I could start researching by reading that article about anorexia that was on the cover of TIME a couple of weeks ago. If she was skipping school, I could talk to my cousin Larry – his daughter Kaity had some problems with that back when she was in high school, and Larry and his wife managed to get it all sorted out in the end.
Lucky for me, Sarah isn’t doing any of those things, as far as I know. The one thing Sarah does do that I wonder about is that she spends a lot of time on the computer in her room, the one that Tina and I got for her so that she could research for all her school papers. We put filters on it so that she wouldn’t run across any of those porn sites by accident, but lately I noticed that Sarah was putting off normal, everyday things like doing her homework and getting ready to go to volleyball practice because she was finishing up something on the computer. I’m not the sort of parent who likes to snoop around in their kid’s stuff, but after I asked a few casual questions about the computer and got no satisfactory answers, I got concerned and decided to look on Sarah’s computer, just to satisfy my own peace of mind.
Well, it’s not satisfied yet, because apparently Sarah is reading something called “Harry Potter fan fiction”, and I’ll be darned if I know what the whole story behind that is. These stories aren’t the Harry Potter books, they’re stories that kids write on their own about Harry Potter. At least, I think it’s kids – I had to get off the computer when Tina and Sarah came back from Sarah’s orthodontist appointment, so I only had time to look at a few sites and write down some words I didn’t recognize.
One of them is “ship” – you’d think we’d all know what a ship means, but as far as I could tell, it wasn’t anything about sailing or the ocean, because if I remember from the movies Draco and Hermione are characters in the books, not ships. Maybe one of these “fan fictions” is about the two of them on a ship together. There was some sort of ship in the last Harry Potter movie, wasn’t there? I had to take my son Mark and his friends to see it for Mark's tenth birthday party, and I’ve been so busy at the office lately that I fell asleep somewhere in the middle.
The next word on my list is “slash”, and this one really worries me. Tina and I don’t like violence at all – we didn’t let Mark see the Lord of the Rings movies, even though all his friends got to, because we don’t believe that kids should be exposed to a lot of violence when they’re young. I don’t want Sarah reading about people getting all slashed up on the Internet. I know she’s older now, but it’s not healthy to spend a lot of time dwelling on that sort of thing. With all the hormones kids have running through their bloodstreams, she could start having some abnormal thoughts.
One thing really baffled me, so I wrote down the entire sentence. It was the summary for one of these fan fictions, and it said, “PWP SS/DM, set during HBP, possible dub-con. NWS, please R&R.” Between the office and this, I’m not going to get any sleep this week. I think I’ve figured out that “HBP” is something about the sixth book, which I’m pretty sure was called Half-Blood Prince. (That’s another thing, is there a lot of blood in these Harry Potter books?) But what about the rest of it? Where am I supposed to find out what “dub-con” means? Is that like the dubbing they do on those Japanese cartoons Mark likes?
I wish TIME had done an article on this sort of thing, so I’d know where to turn. I wonder if Pastor Mike knows what “PWP SS/DM” means.
The HP fandom is its own little world at times, and it can be hard to know how to behave when faced with situations that don’t come up in real life. Here are some tips:
• If someone reviews your fic and says that it was “a stupid peice of carp that SUXXX!!1!”, write back to them and say that they are obviously a mentally handicapped woman of ill repute who performs unspeakable sexual acts with apes.
• It’s perfectly all right to post a piece of fan art by someone else and say that you drew it. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, impersonation is even higher.
• When faced with conflicts, believe everything said by every poster on Fandom Wank. They are an excellent source of wisdom, and are far beyond the petty feuds that plague the rest of the mortal world.
• Moderators don’t really mean if when they tell you to please use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation; they’re just testing you to see if you, like Harry, have the courage to defy arbitrary rules that stand in the way of the really important things.
• Many people in today’s world are in need of psychiatric help and lack the finances to obtain any. It is an act of selfless charity to help them as best you can with your amateur diagnoses, like declaring them to be “delusional”.
• Not everyone can be a Gryffindor; some people need a push to be brave and try new things. When you give a G rating to your Weasleycest fic in which Bill and Charlie sixty-nine each other on the dinner table, you are aiding these people in discovering something they never would have read otherwise, and it is important for everyone to have new experiences.
With the fourteenth chapter of author redblue-butterfly’s fanfic “Not the Last of the Blacks”, Sirius Black successfully delivered twin daughters at 8:46 P.M., Central Standard Time. Named Jade Ivy and Ivory Rose Black, the arrival of the identical twins marks the end of Black’s nine thousandth pregnancy.
Reviewers of “Not the Last of the Blacks” greeted the event with celebration. “omg im so glad sirus finaly had the twins!” wrote longtime reader danradcliffesgrrl1992. Referring to Severus Snape, the other father of the twins, she went on to ask, “u didnt say, do they look like sev at all? hope they don’t have his nose1”
Dead in the canon of the Harry Potter books since 2003, Sirius Black has continued to live a very active life in fanfiction. Since the introduction of his character in 1999, he has had sexual relations with every character in the series (with the singular exception of Susan Bones), married approximately one-fourth of them, acquired three hundred and twelve new magical powers, died several hundred times, and been resurrected at the rate of once every two days, also finding time to join the Dark Side on a fairly regular basis and have nine thousand pregnancies, some ending in the occasional tragic miscarriage but most resulting in twins or exceedingly beautiful single daughters. Though they are a minority compared to the twins and daughters, he also has one thousand sons named James, seven hundred and twenty-eight of who have Harry Potter as their godfather.
The important event of Black’s nine thousandth pregnancy is planned to be discussed among reviewers of “Not the Last of the Blacks” until redblue-butterfly writes the next chapter, and by members of Godawful Fan Fiction until they are distracted by Albus Dumbledore giving birth to a reincarnated Ginny Weasley.