Fan Fic (+ A Ramble on Harry Potter and Sex)

discussion

I’m participating in Harry Potter Month and while this post isn’t really a typical example of what you’ll find there, the idea came from one of the ways we can earn house points – by reading fan fiction. This post is a bit of a ramble and touches on adult topics so if you’re bothered by that (and if your idea of the Harry Potter series is particularly white and shiny), you should probably steer clear and… umm… go read my very clean reviews?

I’ve obviously been aware of the phenomenon that is fan fiction for a while but I never really thought about searching it out. I mostly read traditionally published books, so I don’t even have a lot of experience reading indie/self-published authors. I always thought that fan fic consisted of poorly written fantasies of people who a) refused to accept the fact that their series has ended; b) are rooting for the wrong couple (or, if you’ll let me use the correct lingo: are shipping the wrong ship); or c) are convinced that getting the characters naked would vastly improve the plot.

Was I wrong? Well, I haven’t really read enough fan fiction to decide. I am sure there are hundreds of people who write high-quality fan fiction that actually explores the possible different endings to a story, questions gender stereotypes and so on. And that’s great! (I just haven’t found it yet – not that I’ve conducted a thorough search or anything… so I’d love your recommendations!) I recently found this link of short movies based on Twilight fan fiction. I also have Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl on my to-read list and I intend to read it soon(ish).

zmaj-desno

But today I happened upon a really (REALLY) raunchy piece of Harry Potter fan fiction (not accessible directly through the HP Month site but you know, one click led to another…) and I’m not entirely sure I’m happy about that (a large part of that is due to the fact that I’ve never seen so many typos in one place…). I mean, sure, if I already read loads of sexy stuff, why shouldn’t I read some more, featuring Hogwarts characters that have grown up a bit? Also, it’s my own fault for reading it – curiosity got the better of me (car crash style).

But now I can’t shake the feeling that these writers are on to something! GAH, how has this never occured to me before? You put teenagers into dorms and tell them to stay there but hello, are they really going to do that? I bet the professors at Hogwarts had a tough job chasing people hooking up behind hidden tapestries and in empty classrooms – Harry’s nighttime forays are proof that there were plenty of opportunities for that.

BUT (this is the third paragraph starting with a but, *sigh*) now I’m really sad that my childhood vision of Harry Potter has been… tainted by this realization that Rowling glossed over a great many topics in her books. Yes, I do realize that the intended audience of her novels was much younger than I am now. But if you were 11 at the time the first book came out, then by the time you finished reading Deathly Hallows, you probably weren’t a kid anymore.

I’m not saying that Rowling should have written about her characters having sex (Though why not? Positive representations of teenage sexual experiences are really hard to find!), it’s just that apart from a couple of stolen kisses, nothing much happens in this regard. This wouldn’t bother me if we weren’t reading the whole story from Harry’s perspective – but if we know about his fears and dreams and all, shouldn’t we at least glimpse his private thoughts on matters of the flesh, too?

zmaj-levo

So what’s your take on fan fiction? Yay or Nay? If Yay, do you have any specific authors/sites to recommend? 

Have you ever thought about this issue with Harry Potter before? Or have I ruined it for you now? (If so, I’m really, really sorry, but you have been warned!)

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • LOL, oh Kaja. How have you been on the internet this long without having HP tainted? Never go on tumblr. I think fanfiction gets a bad rap, but if you know what to look out for you can avoid the weird shit. And to be perfectly honest, some HP fans are like…really freaky. You will find some weird shit in that fandom, just saying. But I generally find that Archive of Our Own (AO3) makes it easy to see what’s going to be garbage by forcing people to write a good summary. Hermione/Tom Riddle is a fan favourite. Although that said I actually have read a few good Hermione/Tom Riddle fics but they were all AUs where TR was not Voldemort and the age gap wasn’t a thing. So. Yeah.

    I completely agree that everyone at Hogwarts was likely having sex. The Room of Requirement? More like the Room of Let’s Get It On, Postehaste. Just saying. But I completely understand why it wasn’t in the books, because the golden trio were a bit preoccupied during the ~2 years it would’ve been ‘acceptable’ to readers for them to be sexually active. And don’t even get me started on how little game Harry has (the answer is none). He practically spontaneously combusted after he kissed Cho Chang, for crying out loud!

    In case you can’t tell, I do read fanfic! :D The only stuff that I read regularly at the moment is for The 100 – are you still into that show? I started reading stuff on AO3 because let’s be honest, canon was just not giving me the bellarke that we need and deserve (I’m kidding…mostly). And yes, there is weird, typo and cliche-riddled stuff out there. My strategy is to sort by Kudos (AO3’s answer to ‘likes’ or ‘favourites’), narrow by language, etc. Personally I tend to favour “AU”s or alternate universe fics where the characters are used but there’s a different universe (i.e. Clarke et al in The Hunger Games or our contemporary world).

    I will follow up on Twitter and DM you links if you want because yep, I have a few bookmarked. There’s actually a really great one that I know of that’s an AU for Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series where Lexa is the dragon, Clarke’s the dragon rider character, and Bellamy is her lieutenant. It’s pure gold.

    • Ok so this is a recurring comment today and I can’t really agree with it – how can teenagers be too preoccupied to THINK about sex? :D Maybe I just spent a lot of time with teenagers when I was already an adult (when I was a scout leader – yep, I’m a scout) but they think about sex CONSTANTLY. It’s like the first thing on their minds – always (except perhaps at meal times). I’m exaggerating but still. I guess it was a personal decision by JKR or perhaps an editorial dictate to leave sex out of the series but I still find it unrealistic.

      And yeah, I have no idea how I managed to survive this long with such a pristine view of Hogwarts. OMG the Room of Requirement!! Do you think it supplied them with birth control potions if needed? :o I saw some Hermione + Draco fanfic that was really smutty (and I dislike using that word), often coupled with Harry.

      YES, I’d love some actual recommendations – I mean, stuff that you’ve read and enjoyed :) I don’t mind sexy stuff (as you well know), just as long as it’s not bad-crazy.

      *chokes on a surprised laugh* Lexa is a dragon and Clarke’s her rider? Oh my. :D I haven’t read Temeraire (yet) so I probably wouldn’t enjoy this as much but it’s a great idea. LINKS! PLEASE! (I know, I’m about to fall into a black hole of fanfic but it sounds so interesting!)

    • Um, by the way: kaja at ofdragonsandhearts dot com :) (I suspect DMing over Twitter would be clumsier for a task such as this?)

  • Oh my goodness, the wonderful world of fan fiction! And then there’s its dark underbelly where you’ll see some of the most messed up things you can’t ever imagine. I’m not that into fanfics, tbh, because it just doesn’t do it for me when I know it’s not “real”/canon, not to mention it’s nigh impossible to sift through all the badly written stuff to the hidden gems, though to be fair I’m sure there are excellent fanfic writers out there who write great stories. And yeah, some of the things you can stumble upon in your search can be pretty scary, by which I mean HILARIOUS.

    ~Mogsy

    • YES! The QUANTITY of these texts is what startled me the most. How do people have the time to read these?? Some of the other commenters said there’s a site (Archive of Our Own (AO3)) that uses ratings, so that might be good.
      I haven’t found anything that would count as really scary (like psycho-crazy) but some of the sexy bits did make me want to wash my eyeballs (Hermione + Draco + Harry omg).

  • Faith

    This is such an interesting post. I’m a big fan of fanfiction, though it definitely varies vastly both in terms of content and quality. For me it means being able to get lost in a world with characters we love, but still also getting a new story, and it’s especially great for when you’ve just got a half hour here or there but don’t want to add one of the books to whatever you’re currently reading.

    The adult content and sex in fanfic used to really bother me, but generally people are pretty good about giving warnings up front for things you might want to avoid, and I find it a strange but true fact that some of the strangest, most-adult stories also have some of the most addictive plots. That means a lot of the time I’ll end up sticking with a story, skimming over the (often repetitive) sex scenes because I really want to know what’s going to happen with the rest of the story if that makes sense? I have a vague theory that maybe this has something to do with the fact that the adult-rated stories are much more likely to be written by adults, rather than teenagers (not that all of the fanfics written by teenagers are bad or that all of the fanfics written by adults are good, by any means, but the adults generally seem more likely to finish writing a story than stop half way through?).

    I also end up reading a lot of things written by friends, which aren’t really my thing (especially when they’ve been written for challenges!), but that you end up reading to be supportive! The one advantage is that sometimes you do come across something that you would never in a million years gone looking for but has been written in such a way you can sort of see it. You can definitely find some weird things in the fanfiction community though, and there are some things that cross a few too many lines for me!

    I don’t generally find it taints my view of the original series though. I guess I’ve just very clearly segregated fanfiction from canon in my head, and assume that although we don’t see it, there were things in place to stop students just hooking up all over the place. The students just seem to instinctively know how to send up sparks, but presumably they did learn at some point – I guess I just saw the precautions against underage sex the same way.

    • Yeah I saw those adult content warnings – I skipped several with “non-consesual consent” because OMG. I can handle a bit of rough love but it’s always good to know both sides are into it… And yeah, I can see how the sex scenes would get repetitive – I think it’s really hard to write good sex scenes anyway. I read an article once saying that it’s like writing an action scene, you know, because the author has to keep track of all body parts. :)

      Well I can agree with you on the tainting of the original series, mostly. Now that several days have passed since my (unfortunate?) foray into the world of HP fanfic (btw I think it was your link I followed? :D) my brain has started to separate the “real” action from the fanfic.

      I don’t have any writer friends, or at least none that I know about (since I’m also still mostly in the closet about being an aspiring author I can’t really blame anyone), so I sadly don’t have this experience. I’d love to read a book by someone I know, it would be great to see how being their friend would color my reading experience…

  • Stormy C

    It’s funny, because I read a ton of fanfic–like really, all the time–BUT I just can’t read Harry Potter fanfic. I can’t! For me I think the series is SO detailed that I don’t feel there’s anything I’m personally interested in exploring in fanfiction that’s canon, and for HP I don’t want to read anything non-canon(but I totally don’t have an issue with this for other books, oddly enough). I mostly read a lot of fanfic for TV shows more than anything, because they often have larger gaps in the story canon that can be fun to explore. It can definitely be hit-or-miss though. There’s some GREAT fanfic, but of course anyone can write & put it on the internet, so you have to go digging for quality stuff. I totally second the comment that mentioned A03. There’s a tagging and filtering feature that makes it much easier to bypass stuff you don’t want to read.

    And yes, I totally agree with your assessment of Harry Potter! No way there was no hooking up going on.

    • Um, ok, so I assume you’ve done some digging through the slush pile and have some specific fanfic examples to recommend? (Please?) :)

      But I’ll be checking out the AO3 anyway, it seems like a good place to lose a couple of hours ;)

      HA, yes, this seems to be the general consensus today: hooking up at Hogwarts was a thing, only it’s been glossed over! I’m glad we agree!

      • Stormy C

        Haha, well, really lately I’ve only read Supernatural fanfic(and a little for The Raven Cycle), so I’m not a ton of help. I used to read a lot of fic for House(the TV show) when it was on, and at one point in time, The Chronicles of Narnia, oddly enough(maybe because there was so much there to explore, since those books aren’t very detailed? Who knows.”

        But yes, I’d definitely recommend A03. The tagging feature(when used properly) will save you from many mental scars.

  • LOL, yeah I tend to avoid fanfic as a whole. I don’t want to taint my experience with my all-time favorite series and tbh, too many people have made money off stories that started off as fanfic and that makes me angry. That being said, I do feel like I missed out on some good stuff because I avoided the entire thing. I’m curious sometimes but not quite ready to make that jump yet.

    As for sex in HP, well since it was marketed as a kids book from the start, I think JKR probably had to tone any sexual stuff down. She probably decided to avoid the entire area to be safe – or maybe the publishers wanted her to avoid it too, I don’t know. The way I see it, Harry didn’t really have time to think about sex what with saving the world, and since the books are told from his perspective, well, we get what he experienced there. I’m sure things would have been a hell of a lot different if he had had a NORMAL year at Hogwarts. Especially once he hooked up with Ginny. LOL

    • Hm, yeah, making money off fanfic isn’t really what I’d call fair. Or at least if it was me, I’d share my profit with the author of the original story, wouldn’t you?

      And yes, you’re probably right, she had to keep the tone down to the MG level though other topics she explores (death, violence, racism) aren’t that innocent, either.

      Oh and definitely, Harry and Ginny would have explored the whole castle looking for places to hide from Ron (Danya suggested the Room of Requirement haha) :D

  • Inconsistent Pacing

    I’ve never much cared for fanfiction – to me, it’s always seemed to be the domain of people who didn’t really get the original work; people who don’t understand that the author chose to kill off or pair up characters for a reason.

    Plus, there’s the idea of ownership as well – fanfictions fans seem to devalue and dismiss the author’s rights to their own work.

    • You think so? Well I guess that depends on what relationship the author has with their work. I mean, I’d probably be flattered if my writing inspired someone to write something of their own, as long as they didn’t try to sell it (THAT would tick me off, I’m with you here).

      But otherwise, it’s just a really elaborate game of “what if”, no? But I agree – as I said, I only read a very small amount of HP fanfic and I was rolling my eyes at the pairings and topics explored.

      • Inconsistent Pacing

        I’d be happy to inspire, but I think fanfiction all too often strays into “fixing” a writer’s books – the Harry Potter fanfiction communities are filled with people trying to redeem Snape, or make Draco the hero. There’s an implied judgmenet there, I’d argue, that Rowling got it wrong the first time.

        Have you read Robin Hobb’s thoughts on fanfiction? – http://goo.gl/vHr8BY

        • Wow that’s a great post! And I guess I get her point – I can’t really put myself into an author’s shoes because I’m not a writer. But I get why it would annoy me if people wrote bad fiction with my characters and setting. Huh.

          I love getting comments where I can enter a constructive debate with one of my readers! :) Thanks for that – and for pointing out a different angle.

          Sticking with HP, though, redeeming Snape would be impossible for me (He’s such a horrible bully!) but I do wish sometimes that Draco wasn’t portrayed as such a little shit because he’s pretty one-dimensional like that (I mentioned the same problem with the Dursleys in one of my reviews).

  • Maraia

    I LOVE FANGIRL. I never got into fanfiction myself, but after reading Fangirl, I can sort of see the appeal. It doesn’t surprise me that you hadn’t read any HP fanfic, but I am surprised you hadn’t at least heard about the crack ships. I think there’s a ton of slash fanfiction for HP, as well as for LOTR. I’m not opposed to it as a reader (although I did skim the post by Robin Hobb that someone linked), but I’d almost always prefer to read the real thing. The exception might be Pynch fanfic when the Raven Cycle is over, because I ship that ship so hard. :D

    I think it was Stormy who said on her blog that romance is the one thing JKR doesn’t do well, and I do sort of agree. I mean, I definitely ship the ships, but that’s mostly because I saw them coming from the beginning, so I had years and years to grow attached. I think the closest JKR comes to sex in the book is Fleur in the bushes with what’s-his-name during the Yule Ball. The later books were never intended to be children’s books, but by then there wasn’t much time for sex. I don’t mean time in the characters’ heads (teenagers? please) or time in the story outside the book. I mean that the last few books are already so long (though never long enough), and they already contain so much. I guess sex was the sacrifice. Harry’s thoughts are all pretty tame. JKR is waaaay better at familial love and love between friends. I wonder if that reflects her own relationships up to the point that the books were written or if it was an editorial decision. That being said, I do think sex is *hinted* at quite a bit in the later books, and those are some of my favorite parts. There’s plenty of adult content hidden in those books that kids might not pick up on.

    If you get any worthwhile suggestions from people, will you share them with me? I’ve only read three or four in my life. I vaguely remember reading a Twilight fanfic that was hilarious but so poorly written that it was almost impossible to read. My favorite fanfic (if it even counts) is “What if Hogwarts Had a Mandatory Sex Ed Class?” Have you already read it? If not, here you go: http://io9.com/what-if-hogwarts-had-a-mandatory-sex-ed-class-1646753786

    • YAY you have a picture to go with your name now (I mean, I saw your pic on Twitter and all but on Disqus, you used to be a gray outline of a person)! :D

      Well I really haven’t explored anything outside the HP original books up until now. I’ve been in the blogosphere for a year and a half now and it hasn’t come up! Also, I don’t have Tumblr so that might be a factor. :)

      Yeah this “there wasn’t much time for sex” argument gets me every time – TEENAGERS. As you said, they should have at least THOUGHT about it. Ugh, those moments where Harry is discovering he likes Ginny in Book 6 where there’s talk about a beast in his head or something? LOL. But I’ll be more attentive to this “hidden content” you’re alluding to in my re-read ;)

      I haven’t received any actual examples yet but I will share them, of course :) “so poorly written it was almost impossible to read” seems to be a huge problem – I always re-read my posts before publishing them and even then, some typos (and errors – eep!) slip through but here it’s like people just vomited their thoughts onto the screen and hit “publish” without any though. It bugs me and I’m not even a native English speaker…

      • Maraia

        Yes! I changed it because the exclamation mark icon was driving me crazy in the Mafia game on Oh, the Books! and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it carried across to other platforms.

        I don’t have Tumblr, either. It’s hard enough to keep up with Twitter and blogs, haha. I guess I knew about it because friends in high school sometimes read it and would share the basics with me. Or just googling various things on the Internet. I used to print pictures of my favorite characters and actors from LotR and HP, so sometimes I ended up with surprising search results. :P

        Hahahaha, yeah, that was always hilarious to me. I’m listening to OotP right now, and today I got to Harry’s date with Cho. It is so painful to read/hear every time. Harry is so dumb! Hermione also annoys me in that scene, though, because she tells Harry to meet her at the Three Broomsticks without explaining why, knowing that a) Harry has a date with Cho and b) he’s a clueless idiot. Then she yells at him for being a clueless idiot after it’s too late. Thanks, Hermione, very helpful. It never upset me that much, though, because I was always holding out for Harry and Ginny. :D

        I know, I would be so embarrassed to publish something on the Internet without reading it over first. I always re-read even my comments before posting, although as you said, typos and errors still slip through. But there’s a huge difference between an obvious typo and laziness/a blatant disregard for the language. It’s impossible to take anything that poorly written seriously.

        Had you seen the sex ed fic before?

        • No, I only read that sex ed link now that you pointed it out :D That would have been extremely uncomfortable. By the way, did you have separate sex ed classes for boys and girls at school? We were all together and I can tell you it was pretty uninformative…

          Ah, Harry and Cho were never meant to be. But yes, that scene with Cho is definitely cringe-worthy – but what can you expect from a 15-y-o. They’re generally clueless idiots, the lot of them :) I am SO GLAD my teenage years have passed because I am now surrounded with people who are no longer subjected to extra-high levels of hormones. And they smell better.

          • Maraia

            I love the “fetus deletus” joke. It’s so terrible and funny. :P McGonagall and Snape are probably the worst/most awkward teachers for the subject, haha.

            In elementary school, I remember having separate classes to talk about body parts and gender-specific topics. Those topics are hard enough at that age without a bunch of immature boys in the room. ;) I don’t remember anything in middle school. In high school we had a one-semester health class that covered everything from drugs to sex to very graphic pictures of STDs. That one was co-ed, and though it seemed like a joke at the time, I think it was probably a LOT more informative than some cities/states/schools in the country. It certainly wasn’t an abstinence-only program. (Did you have that?) My mom was on the reproductive health committee for years, advocating for better sex ed.

            Hahaha, yes. Being an adult does have its perks. Although I do think adults can be just as immature, just maybe in different ways (and without the excuse of being a teenager).

          • Er no, we did not have abstinence-only programs :D Our teachers aren’t delusional :D But we didn’t have a semester-long class, either, we just had several hours’ worth of pretty awkward presentations on birth control and protection and the basic mechanics of the act. I’d read books about it before (I borrowed them from the library, you know these kids’ books about sex ed?) so it wasn’t really news to me but I guess some of my schoolmates found it informative? Dunno.

            Mm, yes, you’re right, some people never grow up emotionally. Or they grow up to be nasty, nasty characters.

          • Maraia

            Haha, well, the abstinence-only programs here have nothing to do with the teachers. I think each school district can set it’s own rules, though maybe some of the more conservative states have state-wide bans on talking about ACTUAL birth control options. Yep, I know the type of book you mean. They always have weird little drawings and constantly remind you that it’s all “perfectly normal.” My mom works in reproductive health, so it was never an issue with me, but I bet some kids really had no idea about any of it before the classes. So I guess it’s better than nothing.

  • Alex @ The Book Banner

    I was really into fanfiction when I was in middle school. It started with reading Harry Potter fanfiction and then moved on to reading other fanfiction. I started writing it too, but my stuff was always clean and for the most part the stuff I read was clean too. I was always a little uncomfortable sexytimes in fanfiction and in novels as well. SO I mostly stayed away from the explicit stuff. I stopped reading fanfiction a couple years into high school because there were so many actual novels I wanted to read.
    I think everyone has the right to read what they want to read and luckily for them someone will always be around to write it.

    • Well I can definitely imagine being uncomfortable with this level of sex content when you were in high school! I never read romances back then and I thought Mr Darcy and Elizabeth’s kiss was pretty hot ;)
      I never wrote any fan fic myself, though I sometimes find myself imagining different endings for characters, obviously :) I think we’re made to always wonder about the “what if”!

  • I forget not everyone has fallen into the blackhole that is fanfiction on the internet. I can remember being young and innocent and discovering the wonders of fanfiction when I was about 13 (I know, I should never have been granted internet access) and one thing led to another and one day I discovered Harry Potter fanfiction, let me tell you there are a lot of things these characters are doing that JK probably never even thought might happen.

    The problem with HP fanfiction is the sheer volume of fanfic that exists, it makes it a bit more difficult to read anything good. I am still a fanfic reader (not of HP) and like to indulge every so often, but as I am now older and wiser quality is key. Archive of our Own is the best place to find it, especially as you can sort by kudos and bookmarks, the trend tends to be higher rating means a better fic, but even that is hit or miss from time to time. God, It’s been ages since I’ve hunted out HP fanfic so I wish I could give recommendations, but it’s been a good couple of years since I read any of it.

    I have to admit, I like to read fanfic but mentally the actual canon stuff and fanfic itself ends up being completely separate in my mind. Fanfic is a place to indulge in all the what ifs that pop into mind for canon and explores everything not explored in the books and it’s great. I’m with you, though, there would have been an awful lot of shenanigans cracking off at Hogwarts in reality, these kids were obviously completely pure of heart, I do get why it was never explored, though, I bet the publishers would have had a mild heart attack if Rowling introduced any form of sex into the books.

    • Huh, I don’t really know how old I was when I got internet access. I had my own computer (an old one that Dad brought home or something, it had that thick screen that took up half my desk!) but I only got a cable dragged to my room when I was 18 and badgered Dad until he drilled the holes through the entire apartment (my room was on the opposite side of the apt from “the internet box”). And then we got wireless a couple of years later :D Poor Dad.

      I bet JK thought of all the things they COULD be doing but her publishers wouldn’t let her put them in the books :D Or not, maybe she’s got a really pure mind?

      Ahh, Hogwarts, the den of iniquity. Someone mentioned the Room of Requirement – it MUST have been used a lot :D

      • I remember being really young and having a giant family computer, but really it was my computer in a shared space because I was constantly on it. I still clearly remember the wonderful sound of the dial up connection and being told to get off the internet because someone was trying to call. I didn’t get my laptop until I was 16 because I managed to convince my mom it was definitely school related and we’d had wifi for a little while at that point because my brother had a laptop. It was great having even more freedom to roam the house with internet connection! And it took me years to convince anyone to drill a hole in my wall for an aerial, let alone so I could use the internet, thank God for wifi, right?

        And I’m sure JK is totally pure minded and didn’t even think of some of the implications of what she was dreaming up. Although it’s far more likely she didn’t want to scare off her publishers with this stuff.

        And I bet Hogwarts was, though, the freedom these teenagers had and they had magic! That’s just asking for trouble, there is a reason there is so much fanfic created for HP there is an entire world of possibilities!

  • I loved that the romance in Harry Potter was kept low-key and PG. As a socially awkward youngster who didn’t even have her first boyfriend or first kiss until she was 17, it’s what I needed. I had a really hard time relating to all of the books where romance was part of the main plot. And I felt like the storyline was strong enough (or perhaps strong) without sexytimes.

    That being said, when I was a teenager, I enjoyed reading fan fiction. Not Harry Potter because canon was law for me, but I was obsessed with the Lord of the Rings movies, so I loved me some LOTR fan fiction. Some of it was awful, and I had a laugh while reading it. But other fan fiction was really, really good. It was a way for people to hone their craft, and I always hoped they would go on to create their own worlds and write novels. And…of course, sexytimes is a fan fiction staple. I don’t really know why. Sometimes I had a good laugh over it, but usually I skipped those parts because it got too repetitive.

    • Yeah, I get what you’re saying – I never even thought about these issues until I re-read the books as an adult. And I was a bit slow with my dating, too (I was 18 when I got my first boyfriend – and that relationship lasted for 3 weeks)! :D The longest relationship I had before meeting my now-husband when I was 20 was 2 months, so I always more or less followed the rules of high school dating through my friends’ much more colourful lives. I don’t regret any of it :)

      Well, sexytimes is a life staple so that probably translates to fan fic, too ;) Or it’s wish fulfillment fantasy, which is also common, I think. Either way, I have found, through profound research (aka reading romance novels) that good sex is really hard to write so I tend to cringe more than not whenever I get to these scenes in books. But it can be good when the author knows what s/he’s doing! :)

  • This is a really great post, and what I love most is what you said about positive representations of teenage sex – this is so important! I can understand why J.K. Rowling decided not to write about sex – there’s so much going on in Harry’s life that I can believe sex might be the last thing he’s thinking about, and it could be that Rowling herself just doesn’t find sex interesting to read about – but, as you so rightly said, we do read the series from Harry’s perspective, and it’s bizarre to think that at no point does he think about the birds and the bees. He thinks about kissing girls, sure – I love how nervous he is about his and Cho’s date in Order of the Phoenix – but you’d definitely think he’d think about the other stuff, too.

    Surely the Room of Requirement saw it’s fair share of hormonal couples? Maybe that’s one of the reasons it was put there! ;)

    • Yep, the Room of Requirement was definitely the most popular hook-up place in the school. I bet it provided condoms, too, if needed ;)

      Ah yes, the date with Cho! That’s one painfully awkward scene. Harry is such a clueless boy. They just weren’t meant to be.

      Yeah, I miss books where sex is something NORMAL – not just YA books with 17+ characters but for younger characters as well – not that I’d necessarily wish them HAVING underage sex or anything, it would be nice if authors acknowledged the fact that teenagers THINK about sex a lot, even if they’re not having it. :)

  • I have actually read my share of fan fiction (but no HP fan fiction) and it wildly varies in quality in my experience. That implies of course that there is some really good stuff out there. Most of what I have read has been TV show related and some of the stories would have made brilliant episodes with no changes. I’ve never read any fanfic that did something completely different with the material – more just complementing the existing material. My problem with it is mainly that it’s not canon and it bugs m, particularly if I think the Fanfic writer has handled something better than the show has!

    I don’t think I’ll ever seek out HP fanfic. I’m pretty happy with it the way it is – all happy and innocent and shiny. If I want raunchy sec I’ll read a saucy romance novel. The only reason I would seek out fan fic is when I feel like something wasn’t done well by the creators or wasn’t completed.

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