Tags: voldemort


HP ficlet: Lessons in Immortality

I blame condwiramurs and terri_testing, who have had all sorts of interesting analyses on various topics lately. Including just what Dumbledore's deal is, to conceal and abet so much bullying and straight-up crimes and then sigh nobly about how sad it is that young men keep making such terrible mistakes. (One recent example here, but they're all good.)

So have a short fic exploring how such an internal conflict might look, one class period in the mid-1940s...

Lessons in Immortality
Fandom: Harry Potter (Disclaimer)
Characters: Albus Dumbledore, Tom Riddle
Categories: Gen, PG
Word Count: 972
Summary: Albus is determined that his NEWT alchemy students not be lured onto any of the tempting, dark paths to immortality. Especially not Tom Riddle.

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Whatever happened to Head Boy Riddle?

I've been bad about updating my journal. I could say I've been busy, but when aren't I? So I'm trying to be better about it, which in this case means realizing that hey, I wrote something about Harry Potter a while back which is just sitting on my hard drive because I forgot to do anything with it, and I can post that!

“Very few people know that Lord Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle.”
- Chamber of Secrets

“I have not been able to find many memories of Riddle at Hogwarts… Few who knew him then are prepared to talk about him; they are too terrified.”
- The Half-Blood Prince

Why would anyone be afraid to talk about Tom Riddle at Hogwarts, if most of them didn’t know he grew up to be Voldemort? Even if people were afraid of him in school, no one has seen Tom Riddle for decades.

Well, what do his non-followers know about Tom Riddle? He disappeared mysteriously and was never heard from again – and moreover, he disappeared right after Hepzibah Smith was “accidentally” poisoned, supposedly by her house-elf. Harry, Dumbledore, and the readers have the benefit of hindsight (and of Tom’s creepiness in the orphanage), and so see the logical conclusion as “Tom killed her, stole her stuff, and fled.” But what would seem most plausible to people who knew Tom at the time, if he was at least moderately well-regarded, as he supposedly was (at least by the teachers)?

Maybe people concluded that if there was foul play involved, Tom was a victim.Collapse )

"Children of Yew," HP gen drabble (and a half)

My grandmother sometimes sends me newspaper articles she thinks I'll find interesting. Most recently, she sent me one about the yew tree which mentions Voldemort and his wand at the beginning. It talks about yew's powers of regeneration and near-immortality, its poisonous qualities, its association with graveyards, and its hollowness, all very nifty when you think about Voldemort. It also mentions one property that made the little gears in my mind turn: it turns out that new trees can grow out of the parent yew's roots. Hmm....

And this reminded me of an idea I'd read in this Red Hen essay. (Scroll down to the part about Dementors and Tom Riddle.) Dementors hanging out in nurseries...

The drabble ended up being 150 words rather than 100. Oh well.

Title: Children of Yew
Fandom: Harry Potter (Disclaimer)
Categories: Gen, PG
Word Count: 150
Summary: Voldemort's Dementor legacy takes a while to develop.

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Thanks, Grandma! Probably not what she had in mind :D
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The big Deathly Hallows reactions post

On Saturday, I experienced a thrilling story of flight, pursuit, redemption, and the power of love. I am, of course, talking about the Sacramento Music Circus's production of Les Miserables. I can't recommend this enough. The actors playing Valjean and Javert are amazing - the first has played Valjean nearly 2000 times, so you know he knows what he's doing - and by the time they walked off arm in arm after the bows, I was too choked up to talk for a minute. This production is also the first time the musical has been performed in the round. The combination of the round (and sometimes, rotating!) stage and the small theater made the performance feel even more powerful and immediate. We were there.

There was also this book I read on Saturday when I wasn't at the play. I'm putting my reactions behind a cut. Well, two cuts: one for the parts I liked, and one for the parts I didn't. Warning: long! It's a long book, and I have lots of comments.

Positive things first.

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The Captains Flint

Finally got the quotes and miscellaneous thoughts somewhat organized, so here it is! Intriguing connections, speculations, and no firm conclusions.

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What, you didn't wake up this morning thinking, "Gee, I wish I had some Harry Potter/Treasure Island/Peter Pan meta"?

ETA: I was just browsing over at Red Hen, and what do I run into? She's drawing parallels between Voldemort and Peter Pan. (Here.) Nifty! Petermort and Dumblehook. Hmm...

Voldemort, victim of the DADA curse?

Whenever people talk about Quirrell, a question that often comes up is, How could Quirrell have taught for more than one year? Because Hagrid sure makes it sound like Quirrell was the DADA professor, took a sabbatical, and then came back "scared of his own subject." But now we know that the position is cursed, and no one has taught more than a year, so what gives? Maybe Hagrid is just wrong. But the other explanation I've heard (somewhere or other...), which I find more intriguing, is that Quirrell did teach for a year before going to Albania - but that because he returned with Voldemort sharing his soul, the curse didn't recognize him as the same person. So he could teach another year.

If that's the case, then there's a delicious irony in Voldemort's return to vapor form at the end of the year. Probably he didn't care about the curse because he intended to swipe the Stone and be off, and didn't plan to be DADA professor ever again. But either the last few professors have had bad luck or the curse is nastier than that. Lupin, outed as a werewolf, got off lightest. Quirrell died, Lockhart lost his memory and ended up in an institution, Barty Jr. got Kissed, Umbridge got traumatized by centaurs, and Snape has a new tear in his soul and is now one of the Ministry's Most Wanted. Maybe the professors in years past just retired or suddenly decided to change careers, but still, taking the job is a risk. Voldemort knows that better than anyone. And in the end, he did not exit as he had planned: instead of escaping with the Stone, he got his host body fried by The Power He Knows NotTM and had to go back to Albania, in a slightly worse position than he had been for the past ten years because now Dumbledore knew for sure he was out there. If Pettigrew hadn't come along, who knows how long he might have been stuck possessing snakes? He couldn't even try the same trick again, because he'd had his year and he blew it. (Unless he went after a different professor. But maybe they aren't as easy to possess as Quirrell was.) He must have been kicking himself after that. And wondering whether he would have succeeded in getting the Stone if only he had managed to avoid the curse by possessing Professor Vector instead.

Stop me if you've heard this one: "Three Dark Lords Walk into a Bar..."

Title: Three Dark Lords Walk into a Bar
Fandom: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (Disclaimer)
Characters: Palpatine, Voldemort, Sauron. Cameos by Wormtongue, Wormtail, Gollum
Setting: An intertextual bar
Categories: Gen, PG, Crossover, Crack
Notes: Voldemort sings a parody of a Chili's jingle. Sauron's line about ladies in the bar is paraphrased from Clue.
Summary: It's lonely at the top. Whom does a dark lord turn to for a sympathetic ear? Why, another dark lord, of course!

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(Crossposted from my starwars.com blog.)
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Voldemort's Back? How Do You Know?

With the evidence the wizarding world had after the Third Task, I would probably conclude that Crouch's insane, convicted-Death-Eater, Azkaban-escapee son had broken free of the Imperius Curse, sent up the Dark Mark, Imperiused his father in revenge, stolen Moody's identity, and either confunded Harry or collaborated with him about the "Voldemort's Back" story. Crouch Jr. would want to get Harry for making Voldemort disappear, naturally, and rigging the tournament to get Harry killed spectacularly and publicly would be just the sort of Byzantine revenge plot a crazy Voldemort-worshipper might come up with. Confunding Harry just in case the plot failed so he would at least start acting like a loony would fit right in. Or if they collaborated, maybe Crouch Jr. decided it wasn't Harry's fault since he was a baby and it must have been something James or Lily did, and then he and half-cracked Harry decided to use the fear of Voldemort to destabilize the wizarding world. Possibly for different reasons. Either scenario, though unlikely, sounds more plausible than Voldemort returning after some Dark ceremony conducted by a dead man who had lived as an unregistered rat animagus for thirteen years.

But we know that the true memory can be recovered after it's been altered, so wouldn't the sensible thing to do be to get Harry examined by a St. Mungo's healer to see if he had been confunded or had his memory modified? And to at least try to have his mental health evaluated by a professional? What a lame excuse for an attempted-murder investigation!
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The Lost Year

I find it strange that the Potters did not retreat into hiding until a week before their deaths. Even if Dumbledore didn’t tell them about Trelawney’s prophecy, the Fidelius Charm seems like a reasonable precaution for a couple that has “thrice defied” Voldemort; they must have been high on the Dark Lord’s hit list even before the prophecy was made. Fidelius seems even more reasonable when that couple is expecting a child. So why didn’t the Potters cast the charm earlier? Lily was a charms expert, and clues point to her being the one who eventually cast it anyway. So why did they do nothing for over a year? I find it even more strange that Voldemort did not set out to kill Harry or Neville until Halloween of 1981--a full fifteen months after their births. Why not kill them quickly and be done with it?Collapse )