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Old 06-12-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
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Applied Cultural Anthropology by jacobk

Title: Applied Cultural Anthropology, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cruciatus
Author: jacobk
Rating: T
Genre: Adventure
Chapters: 6
Words: 56,102
Updated: June 12, 2013
Published: April 26, 2012
Status: Work in Progress, Year 1 Complete
Library Category: Alternates
Pairings: None as of yet
Summary: Albus Dumbledore always worried about the parallels between Harry Potter and Tom Riddle. But let's be honest, Harry never really had the drive to be the next dark lord. Of course, things may have turned out quite differently if one of the other muggle-raised Gryffindors wound up in Slytherin instead.
Link: Applied Cultural Anthropology

This has been posted in Almost Recommended, but I feel that it deserves a place in the Library. It follows a Slytherin Hermione as she deals with her fellow Slytherins and slowly becomes more and more cunning and, after a fashion, cruel. It features rarely seen concepts such as a Ron who doesn't auto-hate Hermione for being a Slytherin and an actually competent Gilderoy Lockhart. Harry seems to be featuring more and more often as the chapters progress, and he is the only viewpoint character aside from Hermione and Snape.

The characterization is well done. The Slytherins feel natural and properly childlike, Snape is portrayed as a bit of a bastard but not a complete asshat, and Hermione is particularly well characterized. The pacing is very good, having finished First Year in four chapters and speeding through the Second Year at a similar pace, while the update rate is very reasonable.

Yes, it breaks Potter Law I

Last edited by Dark Minion; 07-16-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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It is also managed to avoid rehashing canon (first year events happened in background and "Surprise! Quirrell is possessed by Tom!" was not a focus of the story). Gilderoy Lockhart is competent, but it is not replaced by an OC. No bashing, I think that all characters are well done and in character (including Ron and Snape, they too frequently end as perfect or absolutely evil/stupid).

Currently main problem is the status of WIP (I think that it is too early for the library).
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:05 AM   #3
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This reads like one of a dozen slytherin!Harry fics. Only with the name Harry scratched out and Hermione written in it's place. The author even pulls the same lazy stunt of having her befriend Harry/Neville/Ron/Twins to avoid characterizing any ocs/background characters.

It's still a decent read, but more of a fit for AR than Library.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB View Post
This reads like one of a dozen slytherin!Harry fics. Only with the name Harry scratched out and Hermione written in it's place. The author even pulls the same lazy stunt of having her befriend Harry/Neville/Ron/Twins to avoid characterizing any ocs/background characters.

It's still a decent read, but more of a fit for AR than Library.
Hermione isn't friends with Ron in this fic, and she makes friends with Daphine and Blaise as time goes on. It just takes time to be introduced to them.

It's a pretty good fic in my opinion. Captures Hermione's character without making her too annoying. I like her not instantly hating Gryffindors, probably because of her status in Slytherin.

Tom Riddle's characterization in this fic is very interesting and different. However, it is making me worry that this fic may end up Riddle/Hermione, which I do not want. I hope she makes it so Riddle was using her and while respects her, doesn't care at all.

4/5 with possibility of going up.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:19 AM   #5
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Blaise, Daphne, Pansy and other Slytherins are characterized at least as much or more than Harry and Ron (maybe not Neville), so calling Hermione's interactions with the Gryffindors a "lazy stunt to avoid characterizing" other characters is pretty silly.

Anyway, thanks to OP for reminding me that this had updated. I agree with your 4.5/5.

While not totally perfect, the last few chapters are the freshest and most intriguing take on the Chamber of Secrets plotline that I've read in a loooong time. I'm genuinely not sure what's going on - particularly the twist of

 
Tom Riddle warning Hermione to stop writing in the diary.


As far as length goes, this is already over 50k words, the size of a small novel and longer than a lot of the fics in the library, so I think it's fine to rec.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:46 AM   #6
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Technical writing isn't bad, but it loses points from me based purely on my opinion- which, I guess, is what this thread is about.

- 1 point for non-Harry centric story
- 1 point for Hermione-centric story
- 1 point for premise I don't like

I was going to be way more objective, but then I realise that I don't have to. I don't really like this story.

2/5
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:26 AM   #7
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Loving this. Haven't been really interested in trying out new HP fics for a while, but nonetheless gave this a go when I saw it in Almost Recommendable, and I love it.

It's an idea that is fairly fresh to me (haven't read a Hermione in Slytherin fic) and it's executed really well. Hermione is characterized well and her interactions in the power play of Slytherin is well done. I think it has done a good job of making the Slytherins seem like a bunch of kids trying to emulate their parents (not writing 11 year olds like they're already adults). Snape is really well written too.

It was great that Hermione hasn't ended up too close with Harry or Ron as well. I loved the way Hermione wasn't apart of the fight against Quirrel at the end of 1st year at all. In fact, it was pretty cool seeing that from Hermione's point of view, Gryffindor getting those points at the end of the year was entirely unfair.

The other little differences are really intriguing as well. Like what a competent Lockhart's role in this fic will be. Or what's going on with Tom Riddle's diary.

Really loving the premise and the execution.

4/5
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:58 AM   #8
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I really liked this, actually. I generally have a gripe with the way Hermione's character is presented - more of a caricaturization (that's probably not a word) than anything, but in this case, the story's better for the way she's built to be this second coming of Tom Riddle.

And I like the fact that despite everything, Harry's not marginalized, even if he has less screen time.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:13 AM   #9
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I'm disappointed that it doesn't really follow the style that it's title does. It's not funny really and that's kind of what I was expecting from something that was parodying the title of a hysterical movie. I'm biased though.

2/5
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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I honestly don't think this fic is worth the library, at most I'd call it a guilty pleasure, so I'm genuinely confused to see it recommended here.

This story is remarkably predictable. Snape is a mentor figure. Draco demands a duel with Hermione and loses. The author seems to see Pansy as the female equivalent of Draco, and rehashes the same situation with the duel at midnight in the trophy situation with Filch that Harry usually goes through. And Hermione doesn't even deal with it in an original way.

Applied Cultural Anthropology
Quote:
"You're asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking," Hermione said, taking her wand from behind her ear and tapping Pansy's wand, reverting it back to a pencil, "is: where is my wand? And what has Hermione been up to all day? And maybe, what kind of mess is Filch walking into up in the trophy room?"

...

"If she hurries, she should get there just in time for the dungbombs to go off," Hermione said. She looked at each of the other girls in turn. "Is she really the kind of person that you guys want to take your lead from?"
What Would Slytherin Harry Do?
Quote:
Your wand is laying on the floor of the Trophy Room. If you run fast, you might get there before Filch does. If you run really fast, you might even get there before the dungbombs go off. If you don't run at all, then you'll get caught in the morning once the teachers start looking for the student who doesn't have a wand.
It has a couple of new elements, not particularly interesting ones, like Hermione setting up a potions study group, her getting the diary instead of Ginny, and Lockhart being something other than a complete fraud, but while they help to make the story have a little more life, and the writing itself is fine, the story itself is bland. 2/5.

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Old 06-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #11
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The story is decent, even if the extended title is stupid and it's cribbing pretty hard at points. The writer has talent and the tale has potential, but I worry that it's getting hugboxed pretty hard.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:38 AM   #12
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I really enjoyed this one. Mostly because I didn't have to read anything except for new plot material - it isn't reading like other slytherin Harry that I have read because as a muggleborn Hermione can't pretend to be part of the establishment at all (compare with OTWTG - very different).
The characterisation is good and I don't know what will happen next, that passes my two tests for a fic.

5/5 for me, although it could go bad in the future.

I cannot see this turning into HG/TR.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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Clearly this is going to be a divisive one. Fortunately I fall in to the "like it" pile. I was actually holding off recommending until the story was a little more fleshed out. I actually like the idea. Yeah some people may complain that this particular story has been told through perspective of Slytherin Harry. But to me this just makes so much more sense.

I like the interactions between the house mates and Hermione. I like the tense relationship she has with Ron and Harry (they definitely are not friends, I don't quite understand how someone managed to conclude that).

The only thing I have disliked up until this point was the recent development with the diary.

For me 4/5
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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I have not read the story yet because I am really bothered by what the title and the summary imply.

The idea of cultural anthropology and the stress put on muggle raised seem to imply that they are the main reasons Hermione is going to become a dark witch. Which is absolutely stupid. It completely missed the point of what made Tom Riddle become Voldemort in my opinion. Meaning that early on he was able to use magic and thus to dominate the other kids from the orphanage. Creating very early a thirst for power and a desire to prove himself. And how can we forget that Voldemort was Half-blood and came from a harsh familial background whereas Hermione comes from a loving family, another major point of divergence between the two.

The bottom line is that I don't see enough similarities between the two of them to buy the premise.

So the plot seems too far fetched for me to want to read it. I really don't think that being:
-Muggle-raised
-Ambitious and driven
-Sort into Slytherin
Is enough to become an evil mastermind...

Of course I am not going to rate the story, but I just had to point out how... weak the main plot idea appeared to me.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:41 PM   #15
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Those would be good points if that was the direction the story was going in.

I think you should read the story; you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
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But I think some of you are thinking that negative stressors or trauma are the primary reasons people become eveil masterminds. But if Hermione is ambitious and driven and IDs the British power structure as something against her, she may form something against it. She may look at Fudge and the Wizengamot and all the rest and come away thinking she could do a better job. That maybe a slash and burn is necessary.

I've come across a rare few evil Hermione fics. Too many go the route of having Hermione be like Ron and betraying Harry for the Head Girl position or rare books or some other bullshittery. There was one fic I read years ago that had Hermione leading a opposition group called Nova. She used muggle/magical methods to destabilize. Someone uses a RPG on a target and apparates out kind of thing. The concept was fine, but to my older eye the execution was shit because it had an older Harry who was kind of a drifter type trying to reason with her while she was recuriting the disaffected of all bloods to topple the house of cards.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:06 PM   #17
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I read the first four chapters of this a while ago, and caught up today. I was pleasantly surprised with how things developed actually, if only because of all the differences and confusion in 2nd year.

I'm not so bothered by TMR's surprising actions. This copy of him had only made one Horcrux, so he's probably not yet approaching the Visser Three-esque levels of outrageous insanity we see during the Second War in canon.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
I'm not so bothered by TMR's surprising actions. This copy of him had only made one Horcrux, so he's probably not yet approaching the Visser Three-esque levels of outrageous insanity we see during the Second War in canon.
Agreed. While undoubtedly someone who is happy enough to murder an innocent girl who found out his secret (Moaning Murtle), he may not have even been at the stage where he had decided to become a Dark Lord.

In canon, Ginny tells Diary Tom all about Harry's triumph over Lord Voldemort - Tom can probably work out that Voldemort is his older self and in turn, makes it a mission to go after Harry. He probably has very little interest in Ginny apart from her role as a source of energy.

Here Hermione hasn't even mentioned Voldemort, and Tom may have no idea he actually became a Dark Lord. I'd imagine he feels some sort of kinship to Hermione with their similar situations. As compared to his utter disdain for Ginny, he probably actually enjoys talking to her and feels it would be a waste just using her as a soul battery.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #19
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Well, I finally got around to reading this, and I really enjoyed it. I've never read something from Hermione's point of view before, and it's quite interesting.

It's probably a little early, but I definitely think it's library worthy if it keeps up the quality.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:10 PM   #20
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Seems a good read so far. Some cliche, but it is a nice take on things. 4/5 for now, possibly higher later.
EDIT: After finishing up the rest of this I'm going ahead and upping it to 5/5.
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