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Harry/Hermione without bashing and other annoying tropes

Discussion in 'Story Search' started by Stan, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. dmacx

    dmacx Groundskeeper

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    This is it exactly.

    It doesn't help that Hermione comes off as a super-competent smug bitch. And of course Harry sides with Hermione against his own fucking godson, because reasons.
     
  2. NuitTombee

    NuitTombee Dark Lord

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    Plots only happen for the sake of things to happen...?
     
  3. Odran

    Odran Prisoner

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    Plot is one thing. Changing characterizations so drastically because you want to arrange two characters falling into a relationship is just straight up bullshit.
     
  4. Stan

    Stan Order Member

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    The funny thing is, I could practically hear Hermione speaking in Umbridge's overly sweet, saccharine voice while reading this scene. The one with Teddy Lupin, that is. Tells you how badly the author fucked up the characterizations, if any character is as unlikable as Umbridge.

    Anyway, as a final review of this story: It is well written, and if you can ignore the WTFness of House Elves as Sex Slaves, the plot isn't bad either. It is the terrible characterizations that ruin the story. Well, that, and the Hermione wankfest. And the terrible romance, along with its ridiculous Marriage Laws. The only likable character in the whole clusterfuck of a story is Teddy Lupin, and he doesn't appear nearly enough to make up for Hermione's stifling omnipresence.

    2/5.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  5. Trig

    Trig Auror

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    I'm going to ignore this quickly escalating discussion about Coming Back Late, the story isn't worth this many words.

    On topic: A good Harry/Hermione is fucking rare. In my opinion H/Hr should have been the canon pairing, that's what I thought while reading the books. Fanfiction utterly ruined that pairing for me.

    It's either full of bashing (which can be okay if it's done in small amounts for humorous purposes) or a voracious Hermione wank-fest. The latter is very common (see: Bobmin), Harry is an idiot that wouldn't survive for 5 minutes without her and Hermione is the real heroine of the Harry Potter story. Those stories are trash. Most recent example is in Almost Recommended: Hogwarts Strike Team. The first chapter alone is so full of cringe I can't even force myself to keep reading.

    Anyway, I looked through my favorites and the only story I could find in which it's a mutual relationship and Harry shows some backbone for once is Backwards Compatible. This story has loads of other problems, but I think it got at least the Harry/Hermione dynamic to be somewhat balanced.

    ...On second thought, it occasionally devolves into Harry using his future knowledge to be condescending to Hermione, so never mind.

    What else is there? Midnight Blues is fun and seems to approach a well-rounded H/Hr relationship without the romance. Hogwarts Battle School does as well, though again without the romance as of yet.
     
  6. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Yes, and the trick is to hide that. That's how you separate good stories and writers from bad ones.


    Anyway, Stan: What you are looking for sounds like Harry who's Harry and everyone else who's everyone else ... in which case you have a Harry/Ginny story, because Harry has zilch interest in Hermione, and it can't be constructed in a reasonable way either.

    There is exactly one way in which Canon H/Hr works, and that's this one. For everything else, you need AUs.
     
  7. brad

    brad Second Year

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    Not so. In fact, all of these changes - over fifteen years - take place completely in Harry's absence. So, from a within-story perspective, Harry has nothing to do with how the characters evolve.

    One of the major things that happens in the story is that Ron and Hermione's marriage dissolves ... they prove to be incompatible. Something that a large segment of the HP fandom would certainly support; probably some people here also. Without having an ulterior motivation of secretly wanting Hermione to move on to Harry after the dissolution of R/Hr.

    Harry's 'epiphany' occurs after he comes back and finds that he's attracted to Hermione; a gradual process over multiple chapters. This *is* a H/Hr story, Stan; there's got to be some attraction between the romantic couple to kick things off. Or don't you allow for romantic feelings in stories tagged as romances? That's not very fair, Stan.

    Re Ginny - because she falls in with a bad crowd that's in opposition to the 'good guys' (that's Hermione, yes; also the Ministry; and we readers, mostly, Stan). Ginny's supporting a person who is part of a criminal organisation running a slave trade. Most of we readers wouldn't like that, or Ginny's falling in with that person.

    You answered the question yourself:

    Right. And that's because his intentions were less sincere than Hermione's on the very day that they were married, years earlier.

    The explanations are all there, Stan; although I appreciate it takes less effort to just shout BASHING at the screen.

    See "falling in with a bad crowd", above.

    That *is* funny. Sad, too.

    There's light years difference between Umbridge and Hermione; I pointed them out earlier. Still no torture in Coming Back Late, Stan. No likeness there.

    But your hearing voices, that I can't help you with. :)

    The way she was in the canon? (Less so the 'smug' part.)

    Yeah. Ugh. That - and then the racial/species linkage set up later - was hard to take.

    Unbreakable vows are a solid part of Rowling's universe, Stan.

    As is this part of the marriage vow between Bill and Fleur that we witness in Deathly Hallows:

    Sorry Stan, the author's extrapolation of this for Coming Back Late - taking Rowling at her word, really - is perfectly reasonable. Show me where, in the canon, such an interpretation is invalidated.

    Yes, it does look that way. If Stan can't comprehend characters evolving over fifteeen years to end up as adults different in some ways than when they were schoolchildren, and doesn't like a seed of attraction between Harry and Hermione in a Harry/Hermione story, it does seem that he's unwilling to accept even the smallest variations from the canon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  8. Stan

    Stan Order Member

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    And that's the problem right there. Hermione makes the right choices and does everything right, whereas Ron and Ginny do everything wrong, for some reason or the other. Also, are really telling me the first one isn't OOC for Ginny? I mean, fuck, might as well give her the full Death Eater garb and be done with it.

    The author holds his supercompetent Hermione to a pedestal while taking every opportunity to gleefully run Ron and Ginny to the ground. Even if the characterizations were logical, which they aren't, this is the kind of story I've absolutely no interest in reading.

    (From what I've read, the above statement is only a slight exaggeration in Ron's case and completely accurate in Ginny's.)

    And Harry doing what he did to Ron was completely OOC regardless of excuse. And no, fifteen years don't change that -- there is only so much change I can buy, and Harry harming Ron with malicious intent while the latter is asleep is way past acceptable limits. I doubt he would have ever done something like this to even Draco Malfoy in canon, and he certainly wouldn't do it to his best friend.

    The problem isn't the H/Hr romance, it is the fact that the romance happens at the cost of everything else, a distinction that you and most H/Hr authors seem unable to grasp.

    Also, the marriage laws only exist to make things difficult for Harry and Hermione's twu wuv, and the ridiculousness of the laws aside, arbitrary conflict is always a bad thing.

    And I'm done with this story. The author's characterizations of Ron and Ginny (and Harry and Hermione for that matter, though for different reasons) disgust me too much to even consider finishing this story.
     
  9. Rakkety Tam

    Rakkety Tam Professor

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    Error of the Soul maybe? It's been awhile since I've read it so it might fall into one of those categories. It was abandoned before you even get to the H/Hr stuff iirc. It had a lot of promise though.

    There really aren't many decent H/Hr stories out there. I think the fans of that pairing have turned quite a few people off to it, and the horrible writing has caused people to view it in a negative light. Honestly, the level of laziness among those authors is pretty high. It seems like they try to make the shortest path to making H/Hr a reality instead of taking their time with it and actually bothering to build a story and characters.
     
  10. brad

    brad Second Year

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    I'd rebut, except there's no need to do so; you've accepted yourself that there are 'reasons' for the characterisation.

    At the start you were saying "Ron and Ginny's characterisation is WRONG!". And so we gave you reasons why it was consistent with the canon.

    Now you're saying "Ron and Ginny's characterisation is WRONG ... although there are reasons". Which boils down to this, really: "Ron and Ginny's characterisation is wrong ... because I don't like those reasons."

    I can't help you with that, Stan.

    Yes, I am. Because Ginny doesn't know the full extent of Zabini's mendacity and crimes. That's why Ginny's characterisation - and her predicament - is so interesting in the story, Stan. We all know it would be OOC for her to fall in with a Death Eater or out-and-out criminal.

    And it's why I can assert her characterisation isn't OOC in Coming Back Late.

    Okay, so you're saying that the author takes every opportunity to run Ron into the ground, except when he doesn't. Well, that's a tautology that covers all of the bases, Stan, I can't argue with you on that one.

    But you are still saying that Ginny is treated 100% unfairly and cast always in a bad light. That, again, is just not true, Stan. There's no doubt that Ginny would be horrified if she knew of the full extent of Zabini's crimes. She keeps on insisting that he's innocent of Hermione's charages, you know.

    I'll let Hermione from 'Coming Back late' say it for me:

    If you hold that 'supercompetent' Hermione can do no wrong in the story then you'll have to accept 'supercompetent' Hermione's word on this matter. Dear Ginny isn't dressed in Death Eater black in 'Coming Back Late'. She's simply nasty on a small scale. Just as she was in the last two HP books.

    She also outsmarts Harry and Hermione with her camera trick. Very clever, that. Even if it breaks your edict that Hermione is 'supercompetent'.

    Methinks your 'malicious intent' isn't quite so 'malicious':

    A prank, even a 'nasty' prank, yes. Something that HARMS Ron with MALICIOUS INTENT? No. Well, only if you're a reader who declares that treating a Weasley as anything but perfect is 'bashing', I guess.

    But that's not true. The stage is set for most of the 'bashing' well before Harry and Hermione fall in love. Ron is committing adultery before Harry comes into view. Ginny has fallen in with Zabini years earlier. Hermione is in line for Minister before she knows Harry is alive.

    Nah. Harry's 'harming Ron with malicous intent' ;) is due to Harry's growing feelings for Hermione, sure. But 'everything else'? No.

    But this is asinine, Stan.

    Firstly, you should, indeed, put the 'ridiculousness of the laws' to one side, since, after all, I showed how they are perfectly consistent with the canon in my last post, and you haven't said anything to refute that evidence.

    Secondly, disallowing a fanfic author from using/extrapolating canon to provide a platform for a fanfic story is just silly; it belies the very definition of 'fan fiction', Stan. One might as well say that Voldemort and the Death Eaters exist only to make things difficult for Harry Potter. Or that fanfic authors are only allowed to use the bits of the canon which have your - Stan's - blessing, and you won't let them use anything that (a) supports a non-canon pairing or (b) casts the Weasleys in a bashing negative light.
     
  11. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger High Inquisitor

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    I tried to plot out an interesting Harry/Hermione story a few months ago.

    I failed.

    The problem, as I see it, is a 'Harry/Hermione' story requires a certain amount of focus be on the relationship. Even if it is not planned it will become a core part of the story simply because it involves Harry and Hermione. The only way to reduce that is to marginalize either Harry or Hermione so that the relationship isn't between the two main characters.

    Because once the two main characters (including the primary hero) of the story are involved in a relatioship the whole story becomes warped by its weight. Everything has to start orbiting around that relationship otherwise it feels like the relationship has been tacked on without thought. But once everything starts revolving around the relationship you start to lose the rest.

    It is possible if you go really AU with it (Harry's a wizard, Hermione's a witch-hunter!) but then you're really just playing with two OCs with similar character traits. A proper Harry/Hermione canon-ish story just has too much baggage, they are doomed to be bloated and turgid affairs unless the writer has the courage to just throw that all away. Most do not want to do that, and most readers dislike it when such liberties are taken, anyway.
     
  12. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Unspeakable

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    Finding such a story is difficult, to be honest, and if there is one, I certainly haven't come across it. Sesc's rec is brilliant, and while it's short, it's short and sweet. I liked it. I do believe that it might be the only one of its sort.

    Stan and brad, can you please take your discussion to PMs (if you do continue it)? It's not particularly relevant to the "Story Search" forum.
     
  13. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    brad, don't mistake this as me agreeing with you. From what it sounds like, the story is horrible -- I just don't read anything with Hermione featuring prominently altogether, since I can't stand her Canon-self, so it doesn't bother me.

    I've always been of the opinion that a proper H/Hr romance using all more-or-less Canon-selfs of the relevant characters (Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny) is impossible, and so that's just another failed attempt.

    Incidentally, if you want to figure out where we split paths here, take a look at this:

    That's not what I see at all. In fact, I'd argue the opposite, and assign the above statement quite comfortably to Hermione.


    Steelbadger: Yeah, writing both as quasi-OCs works, of course. Unfortunately, when Harmony-authors do this, what happens is that Harry's Dursley-abuse is scaled up by a million, and Hermione is then introduced to save him from himself. Which, arguably, is even worse than the original thing :|
     
  14. Stan

    Stan Order Member

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    There are a few other Romance-but-not-quite-romance H/Hr stories :

    Never feel the Break : Harry comes across Hermione crying in an abandoned classroom after the Yule Ball. A few moments of comfort and suddenly nothing is like it's supposed to be. 'It's not love, what's happening between them, and that's okay.' Harry/Hermione, only not really

    Because I Love Her : Of course 'because I love her' isn't enough. Harry/Hermione.

    Words : Hermione has no vocabulary for war. Harry/Hermione.
     
  15. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    I prefer Harry and Hermione primarily because it blocks both Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny, two pairings I don't especially like. That being said Steelbadger's point about such a pairing between the two main characters dominating the story rings true and I'm having a hard time thinking of a counterexample.

    However I think everyone saying that Harry and Hermione would never have a real romance is thinking too hard about it, best friends get married frequently and just because it isn't especially interesting, dog bites man news at eleven, doesn't mean its not passionate. I just read the three stories Stan recommended above and I didn't particularly like them, they were well written but I think they fall too close to canon, just because Harry and Hermione didn't seem to have a spark in the books doesn't mean they can't in fanfiction, we change things from the books constantly.
     
  16. Scott

    Scott Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    I don't want to hijack the thread but I'm also looking for some Harry/Hermione fics. I'm looking for the best of the best. If they have the tropes that OP mentions, that's fine.
     
  17. Atomicwalrus

    Atomicwalrus Fourth Year

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    Unlike a sister manages to dodge a lot of the regular pit falls of the H/HR pairing. The writing is technically good. As a H/HR story it's a little odd, I find myself flipping back and forth from supporting Hermione to Ginny throughout the story.
     
  18. Photon

    Photon Order Member

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    Recommendable:
    A Boy and His Cloak by HoosYourDaddy ( https://forums.darklordpotter.net/showthread.php?t=24556 )
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7502511/1/The-Sea-King
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2746577/1/Resistance (after removal of one pointless subplot it would be far better)
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2302425/1/Definitions-of-Romance

    Readable:

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6092362/1/Shadow-Walks (overdosed angst, but overall quite good)
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11080542/1/Patron (WIP, high potential of crashing but there are regular updates)

    Recommendable, technically H/Hr:

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2073486/1/You-Have-Always-Believed-Me (but it is more about friendship than romance)
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10871795/1/A-Little-Child-Shall-Lead-Them (technically)
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8555329/1/A-Kiss-of-Clichéd-Proportions (technically, DLP consensus is that this story is unfunny but I like it anyway)

    BTW, it is interesting what kind of terrible drivel resided on list of favourites on ff.net (some is already gone, rest will stay for now as I managed to disappoint myself).
     
  19. Stan

    Stan Order Member

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    I have generally found Lorien to be a subpar writer. Granted, I've only read Shadow Walks and Bridges, but the author seems to insert so much angst in her stories, they kill the entire story for me, despite the fact that they do contain some interesting elements. Also, the way she writes her H/Hr relationship is terrible. In Shadow Walks, Harry and Hermione are separated, anstangstangst, then there's a sudden epiphany and BAM, True Love. It is lazy writing and I don't buy it one bit. There was something similar in Bridges, and that story also had loads of Ginny bashing as well, so it is an irredeemable failure.

    Is Resistance any better? I would have given it a try, seeing that it is in the library, but the sole genre being angst was a huge turn off for me.
     
  20. Photon

    Photon Order Member

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    It was long time since reading Resistance but AFAIK it has significantly lower amount of angst. Main trouble is that it is a bit bloated - removal of at least one subplot would help.

    I mainly remember it for a few great scenes.
     
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