Saturday, October 30, 2010

Possible NaNoWriMo story idea

A person I have been talking with about Harry Potter suggested to me to try my hand at writing a fan fic for NaNoWriMo (which I didn't manage to meet minimum word count last year and wasn't happy with what I did write). Since Ranma 1/2 is my favorite series it would be the series I'm most inclined to primarily write for but since I have been talking with someone about Harry Potter in a few dozen or so emails I could possibly write a crossover with the two series. Here are some ideas for a possible crossover between the two series with it being a Hermione/Ranma pairing (because I prefer Ranma stories with crossover girls more than canon girls or original characters and I hate the Hermione/Ron pairing).

I was already thinking about writing a fan fic which uses the spiritual and magical aspects of Ranma 1/2 which don't really show up that often in fan fics so crossing it with Harry Potter would be doable. Though for the story I think it would be best for Ranma to be unable to do direct magic like the Harry Potter Wizards do. Flying a broom, apparition, transfiguring things with a wand and some words, becoming an animagus all not possible for Ranma to do. Creating potions, using magical items and plants, ritual, and rune magic are possible for him though. I'd like for the story to be a mix of Ranma 1/2 things and people with Harry Potter things and people.

Story start six months post Ranma manga and Harry Potter prior to the epilogue but mostly happens pre and beginning manga and during the Goblet of Fire.

- The time period from the end of the manga to the start of the story was very busy, very tiring, and extremely stressful for Ranma (a few examples of the stress is his mother holding the Seppuku contract over his head demanding he do things that she thinks he should while implying not doing so would be unmanly, Happosai, the girls, random challengers, etc.). That being the case Ranma decides to get away from it all for a bit and travels to a remote area of Australia partially to train in the more destructive techniques he knows or is trying to figure out but mostly just to relax and live off the land isolated from annoying people for a bit.
- Hermione at the beginning of the story has left the United Kingdom to go find her parents who she memory charmed and sent to Australia but they weren't where she expected them to be. While fairly near to Ranma she manages to get seriously hurt.
- Ranma happens to be in the area at the time finds her and takes care of her (uses pressure points to paralyze her legs so she doesn't feel the pain of broken burnt legs. Uses water of life to temporarily heal her giving him time to prepare the items needed to actually save her life. Can't take her to a hospital since he is pretty far away from civilization. This is a bonding point and start of a friendship for Ranma and Hermione (not fall in love immediately Ranma likes Akane and Hermione likes Ron at this point). Him taking care of her will have her looking at him positively and her being grateful and talking to him while healing will cause him to look at her favorably.
- Some time passes with her healing up (can't apperate to a hospital but she doesn't know why). They come upon a cave where they happen to run across a type of aboriginal spirit called the Quinkan (Ranma and Hermione hadn't noticed/recognized the crystals outside the cave which were trapping the spirit within).
-Ranma knows the basics of how to fight a spirit and some abilities in which spirits have but he was caught off guard (takes time to create o-fudo and shimenawa) and the spirit is too powerful for him to fight as Ranma is at that point.
- Ranma and Hermione somehow, they have no clue as to how though the Quinkan does know how, enters dreamtime. The dreamtime is a place in Aboriginal mythology where time and space have no meaning.
- Together Ranma and Hermione manage to exit the dreamtime but they do so into their younger bodies more specifically Hermione enters hers shortly before the Triwizard tournament and Ranma finds himself back in China before he acquired his curse (what really annoys him but doesn't surprise him is that the curse stayed with him when he traveled into his younger body).
- The Quinkan, which doesn't perceive the passing of time like humans do, has a small connection to Ranma and Hermione which it will try to use to kill them and use the energy released by their deaths to free itself from it's prison. Weakened, still imprisoned, and from such a far distance its abilities are hampered but it is capable of changing the names on two of the papers that come out of the goblet. Instead of Cedric's name coming out of the goblet Hermione's does. Harry's name doesn't comes out, Ranma's does.

Misc things to happen
- Ranma is not respectful to people that don't respect him and will search the entire castle (because that is something that he does several times in the manga at various places).
- The Quinkan influences things to change the tournament to be harder than canon
- Voldemort changes his plans since Harry is not in the tournament.
- Happosai and therefor people with grudges against Happosai like Taro, Lucky, and Cologne (trying to get back some of the stuff Happosai stole) will show up.
- Ryoga and Ukyo will show up but the muggle repellent wards will stymie Ukyo some. Ryoga doesn't notice them, Happosai, Lucky, Cologne, Ranma, and Pantyhose Taro are not effected by them at all.
- Genma will drag the Tendo's with him (in an attempt to prevent Ranma from ending up with Ukyo or some other girl) and Tatewaki will follow the Tendo's (muggle repellent wards do work on them to a degree).
- Tengu are an enemy of Ranma that showed up after Saffron but before the time travel they are his enemy mostly because he refuses to kill or enslave them after defeating them (which they take as a great and personal insult and is to their view the only acceptable outcomes of battle). The Quinkan will influence them into attacking Ranma again.
- Ranma and Hermione play pranks on their enemies (Something Ranma canonly does but Hermione is less inclined to do though considering she did use blackmail, hexed people, and placed a curse on a contract I could see her doing so).
- Hermione learns that compulsions have been put on her (and all muggle born) and her (their) parents (muggle borns aren't given a choice to enter the wizarding world and are influenced to think less of muggles and their abilities), even more furious to learn that her memories have been altered, and filled with enough rage to be able to caste the killing curse and pain curse when she learns Hogwarts a history is a bunch of revisionist historians lies (it is after-all the type of thing that the pure bloods would be expected to have done) and that the school is purposely teaching flawed and weakened versions of magic (so that those with power can keep the others from gaining more and potentially becoming more powerful than them). For example, she has a compulsion to be respectful to authority which explains why she still is when she has every reason to not be.
- Hermione, and Ranma to some degree, will make use of the scientific method to figure out magic (since it can be experimented with and doing the same thing results in the same results it should be possible for people who can do magic to learn more about it rather than just do spells people have already done).
- Hermione will learn a version of Occlumency and Ranma's meditation and naturally strange by both muggle and wizard standard life protects him from legimancy.
- Ranma, and because of how Ranma does it, and Hermione will make use of some muggle things that are equivalent or better than their magical counterparts (like use a fountain pen instead of a quill).
- To fight the Quinkan and other things that are drawn into the mix Ranma and Hermione will have to transcend their humanity and risk losing it in the process (also no one can enter the dreamtime without it changing them some).
- Ranma has to go through dangerous (because it requires the person to be near death the first few times) and time consuming (mainly) Shinto and Buddhist rituals (as well as purifying rituals) so as to be able to astral project acquiring a spirit form to fight spirits (it is shown that astral projection is possible in the Ranmaverse by a person doings so). Accidental beneficial side effect is that it is a partial cure to the Neko-ken and removes many minor bad luck curses he had acquired (like from Gosunkugi) which stops (and partially explains) the mysterious banana peels or stray bars of soap show up for him to trip on, Akane/people near magically showing up at the most in opportune times, how he could jump on a broken fence manage to jump off in time to avoid falling only to land on another fence that just happens to also broken, and why more hot or cold water seeking him out than the other Jusenkyo victims (which was even pointed out by Genma at one point in the manga).
- Ranma's astral form is a cat girl (more girl than cat) with wings of blue ranging from nearly white to nearly black spirit fire. The reason for the cat part is the Neko-ken, the girl part is because it is shown that the curse effects Ranma's aura enough that animals sense him as being a harmless girl (during the Herb arc), and all spirits (in the manga at least) have spirit fire but Ranma's default state has the fire in the form of wings as a side effect of the phoenix pill and the fight with Saffron more specifically when Saffron was going to absorb Ranma into his egg it went both ways. Ranma's spirit form has abilities and weakness different than his mortal form which he has to learn though most are based on what the spirits in the manga were shown capable of doing including possession, spirit fire, entering dreams, transfiguration, inflict minor curses, create shields, flight, invisibility, communion with animals and nature. It also has weaknesses biggest being that Ranma's body is left defenseless when his spirit doesn't reside within it, Ranma is not the most powerful spirit having to learn how to use the abilities, spirit wards effect it, etc.
- Hermione doesn't (and is incapable of doing so because of the nature of her magic closest she could come is to die and come back like the ghosts seen in the books) acquire a spirit form like Ranma does. Instead she has to learn (mostly figure out on her own since the people who do know don't want to share) old unflawed magic which brings her closer to nature giving herself a new form with different abilities as well.
- The reason that the ghosts and spirits are so different between the two series will be explained by how they are created. When a magical person becomes a ghost they are like Moaning Myrtle or nearly headless Nick whereas when muggles become ghosts they gain more abilities. Magical people are incapable of seeing or interacting with muggle ghosts except in extremely rare cases, so do not believe that muggle ghosts exist.
- Attempts to change things that had happened using future knowledge which works to a very limited degree since people are making different choices and are being influenced by the Quinkan.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Few more comments inspired by Harry Potter

1. I've noticed that it is common in Harry Potter fan fiction (I've been reading some since someone encouraged me to) to have Fred and George Weasley complete each others sentences. While I think it is fine on occasion it gets rather annoying seen too frequently and really isn't the way I remember it from the books. In the books they both did complete sentences just alternating between them on occasion (they were complete sentences not finishing the sentences). The thing is of the fan fics I have read I don't recall seeing Harry and Hermione do so; which I find to be strange since they actually did so on occasion in the books for example in Deathly Hallow p250 of the UK/British edition they did so.

2. In the last book the main trio live out of a tent for awhile and have trouble scavenging food being hungry and eating wild mushrooms. Why didn't they just go to a muggle store and buy some food? I really don't get that. Even if they didn't have any muggle money they could have still robbed someone’s house for food and memory charmed the person since they don't really seem to have moral qualms about altering the memories of muggles what with lots of people doing so during the World Quidditch Cup, common practice to hide magic from muggles, and how Hermione did so to her parents. They needed food and muggles have lots of food which they could have gotten and if they felt guilty for stealing they could have done something in exchange for it like used magic to repair some broken things at the person's house or something. Even if they were trying to avoid using magic they still could have stolen some since they needed it.

3. Fidelius charm. The Fidelius charm is a magic that hides a location. I was wondering about it and can't really figure out how you'd place it on a place with no address. #12 Grimmauld place can easily be written down but small cottage with no address in the woods next to a mountain 23 miles from the nearest road not really easy to write down. I was also wondering if a seer would be able to see the secret or could the secret be taken from someone's mind via the magic that gives access to memories? Also if Dumbledore knew the secret about Harry's parents house (which does seem to be the case since it was stated that he placed a charm on it) how is it he didn't know who the secret keeper was and if he did know why did he let things happen the way they did? I still don't really get why Harry's mom wasn't the secret keeper and just stayed in the house at all times with Harry until it was safe or other plans could be made. It is shown that the secret keeper can live in the place in which they are the keeper of the location.

4. Hogwarts seems to be a pretty crappy school for learning. Beyond just the bad teachers (defense against Dark Arts has consistently had bad teachers). I've seen mention in fics of characters going to a muggle University after graduating. The problem I have with that is that Hogwarts is very much a specialty school on magic and doesn't teach the things needed to be admitted to a university (Science, math, muggle history, literature, etc.). Even the muggle studies class probably is way out of date and just wrong judging by how little people like Mr Weasley know about muggles and his job requires he have knowledge about muggles (Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office - a job you'd think would go to a muggle born not a pureblood since they have more knowledge on muggles).

5. The Horcruxes trip Harry made with Dumbledore makes no sense to me at all. Seriously none at all. Harry suddenly freezing up when approached by Zombies when he didn't in early books when approached by Dementors which are worse than zombies. Dumbledore somehow came to the conclusion that he could drink a cauldron of something that couldn't be touched. The boat which could only carry one magical person being able to carry Dumbledore and Harry because Harry was underpowered when people were impressed about previous actions which make it very clear that he was quite powerful for example throwing off the imperious curse which almost no one could do (which was part of why it was an unforgivable), his powerful Patronus Charm which impressed a lot of Wizengamot members, etc. Lots of other things don't make much sense either but that seriously annoyed me the stuff that happened afterward makes even less sense the Death Eaters really suck at tactics.

6. I found the whole Elder wand thing to be incredibly stupid and diminishes Dumbledores abilities since it implies that he only became so powerful because he had that wand. The whole defeat someone and disarm them that they can no longer use their own wand because it belongs to them now also makes very little sense.

7. Ron being able to speak parseltongue was, I'm not sure what that was other than terrible. I can suspend my disbelief a lot but not that far. Being able to mimic a magical language so easily even one word is just unbelievable and if it was so damn easy I'm surprised that the Chamber of Secrets hadn't been opened by accident a few hundred times.

8. Why didn't Harry learn more about his family and possibly extended family? He seems to know next to nothing about them when it is something he is clearly shown to want to know and shouldn't have very much trouble finding somethings about them by talking to people who went to school with them if no other way and yet he knows a lot more about Voldemort than any of his own family members. It seemed that only Snape ever really spoke about his parents at all and he was very biased. Why didn't others give him pensive memories or talk to him about his parents or other relatives?

9. The Weasley's are poor. We are told this often in the books and that they tend to be made fun of because of their threadbare clothing. We are shown some pretty damn useless though impressive magic such as turning animals into inanimate objects why can't they use magic for tailoring? Reparo works on Harry's glasses for a long time but there is no spell for fixing clothes? On the subject of clothes. Why didn't anyone take Harry shopping for clothes? We are shown he has money and can afford it (small hills of gold whereas the Weasley's are so poor that the amount shown in their vault is so small that they really have no point in having a vault) and yet we get lines like "'taped shoes, worn, baggy T shirt and torn, oversized jeans" as a description for his clothing in later books. Someone, anyone, should have taken him to go buy clothes (a decent pair of shoes if nothing else) and he should have convinced Ron to let him buy Ron some as well just so that Ron wouldn't be made fun of for his clothes.

10. I've seen fics that use pensives for court cases and other times when showing memories could be helpful. I find this strange since we are shown that it is possible to alter the memories put in a pensive; Slughorn did so. It is possible that Snape or Dumbledore did so and were just much better at altering the memories. I personally found it suspicious that Snape just happened to leave memories in the pensive that show Harry's father in a bad light. A thing to also remember is that memory is mutable and people do and can create false memories. People generally do not remember things the way they actually were just look at eyewitness accounts and see how different they can be and people have a tendency to make themselves look better in their memories. Then there is other things like Polyjuice potion which can create false scenarios. Sure you remember the person doing so but was it actually that person or someone using Polyjuice?.

11. Why do I keep seeing mention of a Weasley temper in fics when Arthur doesn't seem to have much of one and Molly who does have one is only a Weasley via marriage (formally Prewett).

12. The subplot in which Hermione and Ron were made perfects annoyed me greatly and I am glad that it is cut from the movies (or so I heard I haven't watched the movie in which that would be in yet). The reason given way later (near the end) in the book is that Dumbledore thought that Harry had enough responsibility to be going on with. Not making Harry a perfect would have made the students less trusting of Harry since it implies that Dumbledore doesn't trust him. I kind of hate Dumbledore, I don't think he is evil, just pretty damn stupid, insensitive, and a whole bunch of other things. I know the real reason the author did so was to improve Ron and put some conflict in their relationship but I still hate it. I don't think Ron was deserving of the position (much less Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson since they - including Ron - did use their powers as perfects for their own amusement and personal gain) and Harry had every reason to be upset with that. Dumbledore should have given him the position (everybody else had thought so and was surprised Ron got it). Harry could have turned down the position if the author really didn't want him to have it and if it was too much for Harry he could have later given up the position; Dumbledore should have at least asked instead of doing what he did (but Dumbledore is a bit of an asshole practically making Harry's life bad forcing him to live like a prisoner in that he isn't given choices in a lot of things).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Potions, powders, plants, incense, and chemicals

In the Ranma manga quite a few potions, powders, plants, incense, and chemicals are used by the characters including Ranma.

Here is an incomplete list (since I think I forgot some - also not listed some technological items, magical items not in powder or potion form, spirit/kami/ghost powered items, pressure points, and those from the anime or games that were not in the manga):
-knock out powder
-paralysis powder
-sleeping powder
-tear gas
-gun powder
-smoke bombs
-stomach medicine
-cold medicine
-suggestion incense
-dream sleep incense
-hypnosis mushrooms
-mushrooms of aging
-mandrake root also called mandragora
-poison flower of enfeeblement
-flower of adoration medicinal plant
-combine the last two and you have the flower of womanhood turning the wearer into a perfect housewife
-paralysis vines
-poison snake herb
-woman repellent
-Instant Naniichuan
-rejuvenation potion
-bean throwing plant
-toushintan - fighting instinct rises can not disobey the command to fight (used on Konatsu to get him to fight Ranma)
-mosquito repellent
-forgotten by me or unnamed poisons (like the ones that were shown but not used or were avoided), unnamed antidotes (like the extremely hot one that swelled up Ranma's lips), unnamed medicines (like the one the sick boy took) and plants (like the giant plants or plant with the poisonous pollen or even just the regular not in anyway strange plants like trees and flowers that the characters used or had for one reason or another such as the flowers given by Akane to Ryoga when she thought he was sick or the ones given to Shampoo during the reversal jewel arc).

I don't see very many fics that use these types of things even though they are often used by the characters in the manga. The reason I thought up making this list at this time is because of email conversations about another series that did not really use these types of things even though the characters were students being taught how to make these types of things and wondering why these things (like many other things) aren't used in fan fiction more often.

I would expect that Ranma and some of the others who go off training to be carrying quite a few of these type of things (evidence from the manga would agree with some of these). I would expect Ranma to carry, when going on a trip in his back pack, a first aid kit containing various pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies (such as plants that would be grounded up and made into a paste to reduce bruising and swelling of which there are quite a few and many work as well or even better then the store bought ones), potions (Happosai is shown to have books on potions and Ranma and the Tendo's are shown to go through Happosai's stuff like during the martial arts dining arc or the moxibition of weakness arc), teas that serve a purposes (there are a lot of medicinal teas and Asians in particular use them often), incense (Ranma used incense a few times like the suggestion incense used on Happosai but is also shown to have and use incense at other times since we see him have it burning near him on occasion), pills (several were shown in the manga like the master student pill or the phoenix pill and over the counter medicine most often is in pill format) etc. Beyond the above mentioned items here are some more things I think he'd have in one format or another (over the counter, herbal, a potion that does it, etc.):

medicines and bandages
-pain relievers mostly over the counter such as asprin but also prescription ones like morphine
-muscle relaxants
-sleeping pills
-burn creams
-numbing creams
-anti-itch cream
-mosquito repellent
-stomach medicine
-cold medicine
-antibiotic ointment

possibly these:
-stink bomb
-itching powder
-bright flash/flash bomb (made from aluminum powder and potassium percholate maybe)
-fireworks that make a loud noise
-glue like Happosai's friend used
-gas pellets
-dye packets
-stamina/energy drinks (the Japanese really like these for some reason, personally I can't stand them)

If someone, such as me, were to include these types of things in a fanfic what other effects do you suppose a potion or plant would have? Basically I'm asking you to suggest possible potions, powders, and plants properties preferably strange ones rather than say pharmaceuticals or what could easily be found in a book on herbal remedies (not looking for magic items or spirit powered items of which there also were quite a few in the manga).

Almost forgot. Aphrodisiacs of which very few were shown in the manga (at least that I remember). The only one I can remember showing up in the manga was Mamushi-zake (snake in drink). Ranma's clone in the mirror arc has this. Mamushi-zake is an old folk remedy made by soaking a mamushi (snake) in sake or other alcoholic beverage for about a year it supposedly increases sexual stamina.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pairings and Shipping in Harry Potter

In general I don't much care about pairings so long as they are believable. That said I disliked the pairings given in the Harry Potter books and do not believe they were portrayed well. I absolutely loath Hermione and Ron as a couple which is very unusual for me (don't really care about Ginny/Harry though I do think it could have been shown better in the books). The pairing I like the most and would have preferred is Hermione with Harry and there are various parts of the books that support this pairing even though it is not one of the official pairings.

I do not hate that Harry ended up with Ginny but do not feel that the books made the pairing believable. I don't like various aspects of it like how she had been infatuated about Harry even before meeting him (she was a fan girl that wanted him without knowing him at all), how she went from a person Harry barely noticed or talked to, to being his love interest so abruptly, the introduction of love potions at around that point in the story and the earlier mention that Molly Weasley had made love potions in her youth (why would any school teach teenagers how to make love potions or keep them in the school anyways seems like a recipe for disaster to me - also while it is said that love potions can not create love they can cause infatuation which can lead to love and might be able to change a budding romantic love into a familial love since the person under the effects of the love potion would have more physical reactions to the person that gave the potions than a person in which he or she is just starting to see as a potential mate; having him discover/fall for Ginny right when love potions were introduced was a poor decision in my opinion), feel more like he was lusting over her rather than in love with her, and other reasons.

While I don't particularly like the Ginny/Harry pairing (for some of the above mentioned reasons amongst other less rational reasons); I really don't like the Ron/Hermione pairing, I loath it. Having them date or shag I could see happening but don't think that they make a good couple at all (and this is not only because I prefer Harry/Hermione). I much would prefer that she be with someone else (saw a couple fics that had her be with Luna and found that to be an interesting though unlikely pairing). Without Harry Potter being there I find it highly likely that Ron and Hermione would have had nothing to do with one another at all possibly even becoming entirely hostile to one another. They also have very few common interests and both pretty much dislike to a significant degree the others most valued hobbies (she likes reading he doesn't, she views studying to be important he doesn't, he loves chess and quiditch she doesn't, he's lazy she's hard working, etc.). I really did not like that Ron got a book about charming witches like the love potion mentioned for Ginny the book makes me feel that Ron is changing his personality to get Hermione instead of doing so to improve himself that he was manipulating her. The way I saw it in the books was that Harry needed Hermione and she needed him while both care for Ron he is much less important to both of them and I know for a fact that I'm not the only person to view it that way.

Whether Rowling meant to or not she did include a lot that made me think of Harry/Hermione rather than the official couplings and included things that led me to doubt the official pairings. Harry and Hermione no matter how you look at it are shown to care for one another very strongly much more strongly than what I believe a brother/sister relationship is (and I have a brother and sisters) and get along much easier and believably than the official pairings do. I could write many reasons as to why I like this couple but don't feel like it at this time. If you want to read essays showing why Harry/Hermione make a good couple and scenes from the books supporting this pairing you can go to and find on the forum some very good essays that show why they make a good couple using evidence from the books (I haven't seen a very persuasive argument for Harry/Ginny since the ones I did see pretty much come down to that's how J K Rowling wrote it). Even J K Rowling admits that the potential was there and that they had charged moments.

A fanon theory that I like was that Hermione believed Harry was in love with Ginny (rather than in lust which is my take on it) so she decided that Harry was taken so did not try to pursue him and decided to like Ron since he seemed to like her and she does have some feelings for him (she does consider him a friend and friendships can lead to love) even if he is a jerk to her on occasion (he makes her cry and upsets her too damn often in my opinion). As for Harry, he never seemed to be very happy with his two best friends becoming more than friends in the books but he was in lust with Ginny at the time and for teenagers especially it is easy to mistake lust for love (which doesn't mean that he didn't eventually actually fall in love with Ginny).

Tonks/Remus pairing. I have no real reason to not like this pairing it simply doesn't seem like a good pairing to me (though Lupin being quite a bit older than Tonks maybe part of it). I also dislike that both of these characters are killed off leaving an orphan. I heard that originally Arthur Weasley was supposed to be killed off by Voldemort's snake but J K Rowling changed her mind and instead decided to kill these two characters off instead which if true saddens me. Tonks and Remus were both more interesting characters than Arthur and in my opinion it’s much sadder for them to die. While not a pairing I like, I dislike that they died shortly after having found love leaving a child orphaned. Arthur is much older and had a longer and/or more fulfilling life than Tonks and Lupin. His children were all of an age in which they could have dealt with his demise and it would give Ron or Ginny a real tangible reason for revenge as well as allowing for more believable character growth for the Weasley family.

As for fan fiction ships, while I prefer Harry and Hermione (because I am convinced based on the books and movies that is the best match up in the series) I have read fics with other pairings including Ginny/Harry that I found to be much better and far more believable than how that pairing was displayed in the books. I'm okay with most pairings depending on the skill of the writer but seeing Ron and Hermione as a couple in a fic spoils the fic for me. The story could be otherwise good but I dislike that pairing so much, to an irrational degree, that it can turn an otherwise good fic into something I can't bring myself to continue reading. I really would like a warning that Ron/Hermione is a pairing in fan fics.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Few comments inspired by Harry Potter

I have read through the seven Harry Potter books and seen most of the movies (did not read the mini books Monster Book of Monsters, Quidditch through the Ages, or The Tales of Beedle the Bard). I read them mainly because of the hype and because a family member bought them. While I did like some parts of the story; I don’t think that they are deserving of the amount of hype that they received. I found the first four books to be fairly entertaining but the fifth book was not as good and I simply do not like the last two books. The last few books are darker than the earlier books and contain romance but those are not the reasons I dislike them. I have read and enjoyed things far darker than those books and while romance is not a genre I generally seek out I have liked a number of romance stories.

There are some things in the last few books I enjoyed but overall I didn't like them. Personally I feel that the main three characters were dumber, nerfed in some ways, and less interesting/believable in those last few books. There is a lot I would have changed. I feel they should have prepared more to battle Voldemort especially after knowing why Voldemort is going after him (things to learn and practice: delaying tactics, distracting Voldemort, escape plans, DODGING, etc.). Hermione should have figured out Prince was related to Snape quicker, she also should still have cared about S.P.E.W, she shouldn't have hexed a student to keep Ron on the team and definitely shouldn't have been a hypocrite and chastised Harry for tricking Ron into believing that he gave Ron the Felix Felicis potion after what she had hexed someone to get Ron on the team. Harry's relationships should have changed more drastically and/or more realistically as he became more of a teenager. He should have been less trusting of Dumbledore and more upset with him (Harry really has quite a few reasons to be upset with Dumbledore and personally I found Harry to trust him more than an upset teenager believably would have). The Ginny/Harry relationship could have been done better. Change the death eater tactics since what was shown was overly complex relying on too many factors but that is true for even earlier books; I mean getting Harry for the ritual in the Goblet of Fire was overly complex and relying on way to many factors happening least of which being that Dumbledore not notice that his old friend has been replaced by a polyjuiced doppelganger. Harry had a much better showing in times of danger in earlier books than the later books (shouldn't have froze up like he did because of the Zombies since in other similarly dangerous situations he didn't and should have had a somewhat better showing against the death eaters based on previous battles with the death eaters - it pisses me off that he forgot the flame hex when the zombies attacked particularly since he was reminded shortly before and in other situations say with the dementors he didn't freeze up and I really don't see how zombies are in any way worse than dementors). Hermione should not have ended up with Ron -I hate that pairing. That's enough for now. Suffice it to say I believe the books would have been better if quite a few things had been changed. There are many other things I believe should have been or could have been changed to improve those last books while still keeping the important parts of the story but these are just my opinions and I'm sure that not everyone would agree with the changes I can think of.

I have not seen all of the movies. I probably will eventually since a family member has purchased all of them that were released and is likely to purchase the others when they come out. In most cases I enjoy the source material (books in this case) more than derivative work (movies in this case). In this particular instance I found myself enjoying the movies more than the books few reasons but the main one is probably because Hermione is my favorite character and the screen writers seemed to have liked her a lot as well.

As for the fan fiction; there is an obscene amount of it, most of which is terrible. Searching through the massive amount of it to find the well written, thought provoking, and/or funny fics is like searching through a pile of hay for a needle with no tools. As mentioned in an earlier post I have read quite a bit more than I like to admit to and prefer other fandoms to this one but have enjoyed some of the fics in this series suggested to me by others. The pairings and genre in/of the fan fics do not really matter to me so long as they are done well and believable; though I do actively avoid some pairings/genres. Some recurring themes in the fandom annoy me where as others have the potential to be interesting but most of the time are not.

Some authors like to give their fans additional information not included in the actual stories they created. This is an okay practice but one I find very annoying. I prefer that if the author feels it important enough it should have been in the work itself. Some authors re-release there work with annotations which I find to be interesting whereas others release a book containing additional information, others do it different ways. J K Rowling created a website and fairly often gave additional information via interviews. I don't put much stock in authorial intent viewing what is in the actual work as all you really need to know but give it more credence than fanon. In fairly recent correspondences via email with someone the phrase (or similar enough to not matter) "J K Rowling said so in an interview/on her website" came up far too often. Prior to the emails I had not read/ seen any of the interviews or been to her website. For the most part I didn't and don't care at all for what she said in those interviews and I didn't really have an inclination to look up all the various interviews she had given. Some of the stuff said like Dumbledore is gay really doesn't matter for the story at all so I don't see why anyone cares, other things said either contradicted a part of the story or another interview so I go by what was in the actual story unless the way she clarified it makes more sense, and some of it simply didn't make any sense to me at all (for example how she explained pensives work) in which I ignore what was said in the interviews entirely. Though her giving contradicting information didn't surprise me since in my opinion she seemed to like changing things to suit the book she was writing at the time ignoring things that she wrote before on occasion in the actual books.