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Old 06-30-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
Sesc
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Defiance by Dark Lord Slytherin - M

Title: Defiance
Author: Dark Lord Slytherin
Rating: M
Genre: Mystery/Drama
Library category: General/Indy
Pairing: Harry/Daphne

Summary
Memories are tricky things. Sometimes, they cause us to lose nights of sleep. Sometimes, they bring light to darkness. Sometimes, they change the course of destiny. Set after the events of Fourth year. Follow Harry Potter as he finds his way across his strange problems, his notoriety and of course, the resurrected dark lord trying to kill him. AU. Powerful! Harry, Harry/Daphne.

Link.

Part 1 of my holiday reading. Compared to the other Indy story which I also read (and which I might review in the Almost Recced thread, if only so that no one else has to ...), this one takes all the tired clichés and delivers a cliché, but technically decent story.

For starters, Dumbledore in manipulative, but he makes coherent, logical sense. I mean, maybe that’s setting the bar really low, but given all the other stories where Dumbledore steals money because ... why? and his "plans" have the intelligence of a toddler on crack because ... because, this one is positively a genius.

The answer in either case is probably "so that I can better bash him". I didn’t really find that here, either.

Some of the other Indy!pitfalls aren’t entirely avoided, but at least they’re tempered with motivation, much like Dumbledore. He ends up at Gringotts and a helpful goblin, yes, but that’s because Bill gets him there. He does have his rant moments, yes, but it’s actually to make a point in-story, and not just a list of everything the author always wanted to say ever. Etc. pp.


So with those biggest stumbling blocks out of the way, all you have to do is swallow the premise that Dumbledore has his fingers in Harry’s life everywhere (for reasons that make sense from his perspective, just not from Harry’s) and that Hermione and Ron are dicks who put Dumbledore’s orders before his friend, and you’re set to enjoy a rather nice time-waster.

It probably helps that the story doesn’t take itself entirely seriously, or at least that was my impression. It’s not so much the tone, rather the building of the scenes; I simply adored, for example, the contrasting house reactions to Important Revelations that happened -- you just know the author was grinning as he wrote this; Slytherin has a ridiculously self-important "assembly meeting", while Hufflepuff (immediately afterwards) ... is playing exploding snap XD

There’s also (just recently) the correct usage of a marriage contract(!), a decent mystery, an (as far as I know) unique and original hook in the first chapter (which has the potential for a 5/5 masterpiece, in fact, and I’m not going to spoil it here), and it’s all decently wrapped into the more mundane parts of the story, so you keep reading to figure out what is going to happen. I was sad when I had reached the last chapter and that’s been extremely sparse lately.

At this point, Harry’s and Daphne’s interactions would already be a bonus, but there’s that, too. It’s funny, it’s snappy, Harry is exactly the right sort of annoying, Daphne exactly the right sort of stand-offish, and as they then are forced to interact, the result is necessarily entertaining. Both are unashemedly sticking to their own motivations, which moves any "true love upon first sight" shit with a mighty kick into the trash bin. There is attraction, because both are attractive people, and after 23 chapters and 100k words, that’s that. Refreshing.

I give it a solid 3/5.
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:01 PM   #2
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Completely agree with basically everything Sesc said. I was recommending this fic in IRC a week or so ago and people were rather prissy about the indy!Harry elements, but I think "effective time waster" is a good description. If you're looking for perfection, obviously you're going to be disappointed. But if you have a craving to read some fun HP fanfic, this will avoid offending you too much.

3/5
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:11 PM   #3
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@Taure recommended this in IRC yesterday. I'm still baffled as to why anyone would (even ironically) praise this thing, and coincidentally because of this and Wind Shear I'm getting the feeling the fandom somehow regressed to 2007.

I'll try to be clear about what I mean: this fic is shit. Usually I'd call it "pretty shit", but this fic honestly doesn't deserve that particular nuance.

Reading this fic is like being hit with every branch of every tree of the Cliché Forest and then some. Sometimes it even manages the impressive feat of swerving to avoid one cliché and then ramming straight into it anyway. For instance, the fic starts out in the summer between fourth and fifth year, but literally nothing is different from the usual sixth year start so I don't know why the author bothered. Harry mistrusts Sirius? Nah, Sirius just has to shit on "that old goatfucker and his Order of the Fried Chicken" (might as well be a literal quote) and he's back in Lord Potter's good graces. It's like the author went through the Pet Peeves thread and actively made an effort to hit as many as he could. He even includes metatextual bullshit like italics, bold for flashbacks, etc.

All of this, combined with shitloads of spelling errors, awkward English and OOC bullshit, makes it a struggle to read. So after chapter 6 I stopped bothering.

1/5, and that still feels generous.

EDIT: revising rating to 2/5, to correct a misconception about the rating system.

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Old 06-30-2017, 02:34 PM   #4
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"This is my house, and I am the Lord Black," he revealed his Lord ring which glinted for everyone to see, "and Lord Potter, so I want to make it clear for everyone, do not try to control me. You will not like it."

Dumbledore seemed thoughtful for a moment. "My boy," he began, "I am merely disappointed in you that you hid the facts from me. You could have told me, and I would have helped you do it the correct way."

"Just like you have helped keeping me away from my heritage? Like you kept me in the prison house at privet drive to be tortured all through my childhood? As if you wanted to take away the contents of my family vaults only so that you could fund your piss-poor group of retired farts? No Dumbledore, I am done with you. With you and your blasted Order of the Farts."
1/5 absolute shit. I don't get the sense that this fic is self aware at all, just bad.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:14 PM   #5
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I think rating this 1/5 is a complete loss of perspective. 3/5 is the rating which earns a fic a place in Almost Recommended, the scope of which is "From Barely Readable to Almost Good".

To rate this fic as a 1/5 is to say that there's no category of fic worse than it. This is an absurd overreaction. The fic has many redeeming features:

1. A novel mystery which the author sustains rather than immediately resolving.

2. Plot progression which actually means that things happen in a reasonable number of words rather than eternal summer/training syndrome.

3. Cliffhangers that make you want to keep reading.

4. An unusually nuanced approach to manipulative Dumbledore in which Harry's perception of him is not the same thing as the truth.

5. A particularly well-characterised Daphne.

Yes, there are cliches. Yes, there are English errors, particularly in word choice. But to rate the fic 1/5 is to act as if there is nothing distinguishing this fic from a standard indy!Harry by-the-numbers summerfic. That is just simply, and objectively, not true.

Not only does rating the fic 1/5 diminish your credibility as objective critics, it also diminishes this forum. Fics like this one are the fics that the fandom are actually reading and want to discuss. If we collectively announce that there is no place to talk about such fics on DLP by rating them so lowly that they are deleted rather than admitted into "barely readable to almost good", then DLP is basically writing itself into irrelevance as an HP forum. People who want to actually discuss the actively updating fics of the fandom will go elsewhere.

Meanwhile DLP will become empty because we judge every fic as so below our notice that we won't even discuss it.

The whole reason we have Almost Recommended is to be able to discuss the fics that aren't good enough for the Library but nonetheless people are reading. Please don't turn Almost Recommended into just another extension of the Library.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:45 PM   #6
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I think rating this 1/5 is a complete loss of perspective. 3/5 is the rating which earns a fic a place in Almost Recommended, the scope of which is "From Barely Readable to Almost Good".

To rate this fic as a 1/5 is to say that there's no category of fic worse than it. This is an absurd overreaction. The fic has many redeeming features:

1. A novel mystery which the author sustains rather than immediately resolving.

2. Plot progression which actually means that things happen in a reasonable number of words rather than eternal summer/training syndrome.

3. Cliffhangers that make you want to keep reading.

4. An unusually nuanced approach to manipulative Dumbledore in which Harry's perception of him is not the same thing as the truth.

5. A particularly well-characterised Daphne.

Yes, there are cliches. Yes, there are English errors, particularly in word choice. But to rate the fic 1/5 is to act as if there is nothing distinguishing this fic from a standard indy!Harry by-the-numbers summerfic. That is just simply, and objectively, not true.

Not only does rating the fic 1/5 diminish your credibility as objective critics, it also diminishes this forum. Fics like this one are the fics that the fandom are actually reading and want to discuss. If we collectively announce that there is no place to talk about such fics on DLP by rating them so lowly that they are deleted rather than admitted into "barely readable to almost good", then DLP is basically writing itself into irrelevance as an HP forum. People who want to actually discuss the actively updating fics of the fandom will go elsewhere.

Meanwhile DLP will become empty because we judge every fic as so below our notice that we won't even discuss it.

The whole reason we have Almost Recommended is to be able to discuss the fics that aren't good enough for the Library but nonetheless people are reading. Please don't turn Almost Recommended into just another extension of the Library.
I'll agree that maybe 1/5 is too harsh and was made with the idea that 0/5 was a possible score. I suppose the rating of "barely readable" fits this better than "absolute dross unworthy of even being on the site".

But I don't agree that this fic is all that different from the paint-by-the-numbers Indy!Harry. In the 6 chapters I read, I hit upon only the first point you mentioned before quitting in disgust and boredom, and even then the mystery wasn't particularly engaging, certainly not enough so to make up for the extremely lackluster other parts. If I'd stumbled across this while wandering around FFN, I certainly wouldn't have given clicking the back button a second thought. Even your and Sesc's recommendations can only make me ignore so much.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:02 PM   #7
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I'm a rather frequent poster in the Review Board. Lately, there's a trend wherein DLP members rate stories exceptionally low or are very caustic in reviews (occasionally I too am a bit harsh). It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does pose a problem when the Library doesn't gain new (if flawed) stories that aren't unreadable.

This is a perfect example of a 3/5 story. It literally epitomizes what I'd call average.

Like @Sesc and @Taure both said, the story does fall into some of the same pitfalls indy!Harry stories do. The story is inherently flawed. The story is far from perfect. But that doesn't detract too much from overall enjoyment.

The premise itself is a very interesting one, and well-executed. It managed to hook me (which is a rarity these days). From there, the story doesn't lose momentum. It progresses at a believable pace.

Besides that, I liked the characters. Harry was well done. He felt very much like his canon counterpart. I could detect the same rebellious, oft foolhardy and singularly sarcastic tendencies. There were times he was out of character. Granted, they were a bit off-putting, but easy enough to overlook in the long run.

Also, it's apparent that Harry has issues with Dumbledore. Rather than those issues being the standard fare seen in these types of stories, Dark Lord Slytherin twists them in an intriguing manner. Harry's problems with Dumbledore arise from how controlling he is. Not because Dumbledore's a thief. Not because Dumbledore's a senile codger. Not because Dumbledore's a vainglorious bastard. That was not only creative, but executed well.

Daphne too was cool. She's a blank slate, and she was moulded into a three-dimensional, realistic character with a unique voice. She's not the typical "ice-queen" (whoever thought of that needs to be shot), but exactly the right kind of wary you'd expect. Her wariness doesn't veer into antipathetic territory, but rather remains in the firmly grounded in realism.

The only gripes I've got are the aforementioned indy!Harry pitfalls the story falls into occasionally and the writing. I guess it's unavoidable, really. It is an indy!Harry story, after all. The redeeming factor is that these pitfalls aren't overblown and are resolved acceptably.

The writing was a bit bland. It became tedious at times, but overall was pretty much average. There were some oddly phrased sentences due to poor word choice. There were some grammatical errors interspersed throughout the story as well.

So, yeah. That's that. 3/5 is a perfect score for this story.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:34 PM   #8
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Like Taure and Sesc said it's a typical 3/5 story with lots of cliches but somewhat well executed. However I think the last 2 or 3 chapters really lost in quality so I might lower my note if the next chapters stay on the same tone.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:34 PM   #9
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2/5 at the most. Harry is a complete OOC Gary Stu here with not even trying to explain why. Just some hints with no substance. The Ron/Hermione bashing angle is a badly executed trope.

It's a guilty pleasure at most and you feel really guilty afterwards.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:29 AM   #10
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For instance, the fic starts out in the summer between fourth and fifth year, but literally nothing is different from the usual sixth year start so I don't know why the author bothered. Harry mistrusts Sirius? Nah, Sirius just has to shit on "that old goatfucker and his Order of the Fried Chicken" (might as well be a literal quote)
Err. That is exactly the thing, though -- it's not. Especially not by Harry. Exactly that kind of stuff is avoided (Sirius comes with the "fried chicken" once, and not seriously), and for me, that makes all the difference.

I had the 1 on 1 comparison, because I read also this story (Edit: review), and that one's got it all -- endless!summer, Harry who owns American Muggle cars in gigantic storerooms in Gringotts run by friendly!goblins, Dumbledore with the intelligence of a fly (he later becomes insane and gets shipped to Azkaban), retarded monikers (your "chicken" and "goat"), neo-Marauders with everyone!Animagi, embarrassing rants where Harry stands in the middle of the Great Hall and shouts at the staff, because the author thinks that's "cool" and "grown-up" ...

That one is a solid 1/5.

This one is objectively better. Personally, it gets me to the rating above, but I admit if clichés as such are your issue, you won't find anything for you in here -- and in any Indy!Harry in existence, for that matter.
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:01 AM   #11
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I disagree with this. Literally all of it. Fics are not judged in relativity to each other, or at least they shouldn't. The fact that worse fics exist doesn't mean this, or anything being discussed at any one time, isn't worth the lowest score available.

You attacking other people's credibility as objective critics for judging a fic that you personally liked as terrible is horseshit. You thinking that it also reflects badly on DLP is not only horseshit, it's also arrogant to the point of absurdity.

Some people judge fics you like shit. For many reasons. Get over it.

DLP's identity has been subject of debate a lot, but at the core I think most would agree it is -and has always been- about quality.

Regardless of whether this particular fic is quality or not, you saying that DLP finding currently trending fics irrelevant is killing the forum is ridiculous. Fics are still coming in but even if DLP suddenly decided to no longer deal with HP fanfiction, it wouldn't die out. DLP hasn't been solely -or even in a majority- about fanfiction for a good while now.

Beyond that, you're implying, if not outright saying that DLP has an obligation to accept fics that other HP communities find good? What the fuck?

DLP remains relevant as an HP forum by having, even to this, day, some of the best writers, active and inactive, as active members, and having the best archive of quality fics one can find. Not for discussing whatever fad is currently going through ffnet or AO3 or whatever the fuck.

About the only thing I agree with that you said is that we have the Almost Rec'd subforum for fics that are almost good or are guilty pleasures. No shit?
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:53 AM   #12
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I think you might need to take a reading comprehension class.

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You attacking other people's credibility as objective critics for judging a fic that you personally liked as terrible is horseshit. You thinking that it also reflects badly on DLP is not only horseshit, it's also arrogant to the point of absurdity.
Is the exact opposite of what I said. I did not say they were wrong because their preferences differed from my own. I said they were wrong because they failed to acknowledge the elements of the fic which distinguish it from the class of fic they claimed it belongs to. If you call a fic a typical indy!Harry fic, and it contains numerous non-typical elements, then you're just wrong. It's not a matter of personal preference.

To be factually wrong about the contents of a fic in your review of that fic does diminish the reviewer.

Quote:
DLP's identity has been subject of debate a lot, but at the core I think most would agree it is -and has always been- about quality.
Please point out the part where I stated we should let low quality fics into the Library.

Almost recommended is not part of the Library. It is specifically for fics that lack quality but nonetheless the forum wishes to discuss. To apply Library standards to Almost Recommended is to make it a completely redundant subforum.

DLP is about quality but it is also about freedom of discussion. We have "Worst of" and "Pet Peeves" threads to discuss hilariously awful fanfiction. We have the Library to discuss great fanfiction. And we have Almost Recommended for the stuff in-between. For everything there is a correct place.

Quote:
DLP hasn't been solely -or even in a majority- about fanfiction for a good while now.
Irrelevant, since my post solely concerned DLP's utility as a place to discuss fanfiction, not as a forum in general.

Quote:
Beyond that, you're implying, if not outright saying that DLP has an obligation to accept fics that other HP communities find good? What the fuck?
This is neither stated nor implied. What was stated is that it is good that DLP has a place for its members to discuss the fics they are reading which are not good enough for the Library, and to adopt a set of standards such that there is no place to discuss these fics would make the forum worse off.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:36 AM   #13
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People are either too much elitiests or protect or wish to protect the library, that any story they find at fault gets 2/5 or 1/5.
ignoring the middle ground of almost recommended.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:41 AM   #14
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Can't take the cliche road anymore. I thought we've outgrown this type of writing but anyhow, I'll give it 2.5/5. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody but I'll read it for myself if I have nothing better to do.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:09 AM   #15
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Holy shit though guys. Can we just like... accept that people have different tastes and move on? Let's not attack each other. We're more mature than that. We're here to offer reviews based on personal opinions. Let's not derail the thread with unnecessary argumentation when it's just people offering personal opinions.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:12 AM   #16
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Holy shit though guys. Can we just like... accept that people have different tastes and move on? Let's not attack each other. We're more mature than that. We're here to offer reviews based on personal opinions. Let's not derail the thread with unnecessary argumentation when it's just people offering personal opinions.
Eh... at the risk of making this 100% tangential, one of the things DLP does is make people justify their opinions. Exploring the justification behind our opinions is one of the reasons this forum prides itself on a higher level of criticism and discussion than other venues.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:21 AM   #17
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Eh... at the risk of making this 100% tangential, one of the things DLP does is make people justify their opinions. Exploring the justification behind our opinions is one of the reasons this forum prides itself on a higher level of criticism and discussion than other venues.
Yeah, I can understand that. But in keeping with the spirit of DLP's purpose, isn't it much better just to have civil discussion? It's much more palatable to review stories and explain your position civilly, without the unnecessary squabbling (which I totally see on the horizon if this difference of opinions between you and Republic proceeds further).
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:11 PM   #18
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Not only does rating the fic 1/5 diminish your credibility as objective critics, it also diminishes this forum.
That is outrageous. You don't get to decide credibility of other people just because they called your rec shit. DLP has never been a hug box not even for you or Sesc.

Honestly you sound more like you are trying to trick this story in to library by making people vote average while you and select few votes high. Even if that is not your intention.

It is everybodies right to vote low if they think 4 stars are too much for a story. It will go to almost reccomended anyway as it is 3 stars of right now.

Also your rant DLP getting empty is baseless fear mongering. Like this;
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People who want to actually discuss the actively updating fics of the fandom will go elsewhere.
Because lets face it, we never bowed down on anybody in this fandom in fear of they won't come here. If we did we would have brought hundreds of unreadable HP/G stories to the Library because "People" wanted that. That is not us. And that won't be us.

So stop attacking peoples character because you can't find flaws in their argument and get real.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:57 PM   #19
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Yeah, kinda do let's get back to the story.

I honestly don't see how one could rate this one 1/5, not compared to the other one I linked (@BTT) -- and yes, of course there is relative quality judgement for the stories we discuss here, because how would you calibrate the 1-5 scale otherwise? -- but I stopped getting annoyed at (perceived or real) unreasonable ratings. This is just my offer for people who are looking for stories, and I do my best to sum up the contents so that everyone knows what they might get into. As long as I'm not the only one who cares for the thread, it's fine.

And @Tasoli, I don't think I, of all people, ever asked for a hug-box ...
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“Someone is going to pay.”

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Old 07-01-2017, 02:53 PM   #20
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Gender: Male
Posts: 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sesc View Post
Yeah, kinda do let's get back to the story.

I honestly don't see how one could rate this one 1/5, not compared to the other one I linked (@BTT) -- and yes, of course there is relative quality judgement for the stories we discuss here, because how would you calibrate the 1-5 scale otherwise? -- but I stopped getting annoyed at (perceived or real) unreasonable ratings.
I gave this 1/5 and I stick to it. I don't rate fanfiction or anything else on a curve. 95% of fanfiction is 1/5 shit. That this fic is a little closer to the top of the shitheap doesn't mean it doesn't belong there.

I couldn't get through this story. I tried reading it when Taure linked it in IRC, and again when people here were rating is well. There is absolutely nothing redeemable about this. It uses every horrible trope, its characters are unlikable and poorly characterized. It isn't well written, and doesn't have novelty of being unique in some way that would enable me to look past the rest of this shit.

Maybe I just don't like this fic in particular, I don't have much tolerance for these cliches. However I stand by my principle of grading. I couldn't read this, therefore it is 1/5.
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author:dark lord slytherin, harry/daphne, independent, independent!harry


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