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WIP Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin By The Sinister Man - T

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by iamnotreal, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. iamnotreal

    iamnotreal Second Year

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    Yeah, I kinda feel the 'Image of God' spell is ridiculously problematic from any narrative perspective... A remake reality spell that requires potentially lethal sacrifices? I know they expounded on the problems of such a spell within the story but really? Barely anyone remembers such a ridiculously overpowered spell?
     
  2. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    The author has shown a tendency to overpower some spells and still didn't do anything against that (Obliviate, Confundus...)
    However, I thought the explanation that everyone suspected of knowing how to do it is being killed immediately to be quite sufficient.
    Apart from that, the sacrifices seem to be horrendous, especially if you additionally take into account what Dobby said about this dangerous "wild".
     
  3. Rahkesh Asmodaeus

    Rahkesh Asmodaeus THUNDAH Bawd Admin DLP Supporter

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    So I found this fic on my own, somehow not realizing it had been recommended months ago on here.

    At first, like everyone in this thread it looks like, I was a bit turned off. The author seemed to use every cliche, up to including Harry's scar was caused by the wreckage of the house falling down around them, to James and Lily randomly leaving him with the Dursley's and never even coming to visit or check to see that he was doing well, to the ever so annoying, "Why don't you just throw the Philosopher's Stone into a box and put the Fidelius Charm on it?"

    I would have stopped if I had anything better to do... but I didn't. I kept reading, because even though it wasn't shy about throwing every single cliche in, it was written well enough. And man, am I ever so glad I did.

    Every single doubt and misgiving I had about this fic is addressed later on. Even the characters who were seemingly mindlessly bashed in the beginning (James, Lily, James Jr., Draco, Ron) were shown to be characters of absolutely depth and were actually people, with good and bad.

    The author does himself a slight disservice by throwing the cliches in the beginning and then explaining the cliches and fixing them many chapters later. So I'll going to try and explain some now in spoiler tags. I highly suggest actually reading this story and coming across these on your own time, as the story really is quite good, and each chapter interesting on its own. The author allows for things to develop organically, instead of just laying everything on the table. It's well done, but definitely off-putting if you're sick of the cliches you're inundated with at the beginning of the fic.

    Lily and James put Harry into the Dursley's house not so that Harry wouldn't feel jealous of James Jr/Jim Potter, but because they were deathly afraid. Right after the attack on Halloween, neither children tested positive for magic. They were both essentially squibs for a time being. Jim started to show signs of magic, but Harry didn't. The fear was that Jim had somehow used both his and his brother's magic in order to somehow defeat Voldemort, and he was the cause of Harry's apparent squibness.

    And something else to note: James Potter is in possession of a centuries old prophecy, passed on from one generation to the other in the Potter family, which states that there will be a magical apocalypse of sorts, and two Potter siblings will be at the forefront, one of whom is described as the "Last Potter" and also as the "Prince of Slytherin". This is the reason for the Potter's deep hatred of everything Slytherin, as they are conditioned from birth to loath and abhor that house, lest they become one when they turn 11, and become part of the prophecy. It's why the Potter family has only had one child for generations, and it's why James is so furious that Harry becomes a Slytherin, and one of the main plot points of the entire fic, given the title.

    It's explained that Lily was absolutely frightened of living in the wizarding world and having her children grow up in it. Her parents were brutally tortured and killed because she had the nerve to marry James Potter, in defiance of every pureblood tradition. She was actually relieved when she thought that Harry was a squib, because then at least ONE of her children could live, even if it meant never seeing him again. So, WD, if you're reading this, yes, Lily Potter AND James Potter loved their son, Lily to the point of loving so much she would rather see him live a nice life with her sister than live in a world that had killed his grandparents for being muggle. And James tried to refuse it, not wanting to give Harry up, but the prophecy is the thing that finally made him relent. Because in convoluted thinking, he was afraid that Harry would become the catalyst to the wizarding apocalypse by stealing his brother's magic in a known Dark Ritual and actually becoming the Prince of Slytherin. I don't think I'm explaining this very well, because I feel like the author did a much better job at making their reasoning valid and believable.

    Lily had actually gotten into contact with Petunia before she even had her children, and was on good terms with her. They didn't give him to the Dursleys knowing they would abuse him, they gave him under the impression that they would treat him well. But much later on in the story, we learn something. There is something terribly wrong with Harry. A curse, or something, is put on Harry which affects any muggle in his proximity. It causes them to fear him, to dislike him on a primal level. It's not just the Dursley family -- it's everyone. His teachers, neighbors, he was even instantly disliked by Hermione's and Justin's parents when they first met him. At this point in the story, we're still in the dark as to what it is.

    But being in close proximity to the Dursley's all the time made them pathologically afraid of him. They actually did think he was the devil incarnate. That is the basis for their treatment for him, in this story.

    It took a while, but even Harry's extremely good vocabulary and high-brow way of speaking is brought up in one of the last few chapters. It's not explained, but given canon, we can reasonably assume it has something to do with Voldemort's soul fragment, if Harry really IS the Boy-Who-Lived. And that's the thing, it's not clear. Harry could be the BWL, or Jim could be, or they both could be. Right now I'm leaning towards the last option. But yeah, I had a major issue with the way Harry spoke from the beginning of the story and was only now mollified after 69 chapters or so.

    Also, yes, I was likewise fine with the reasoning behind the "Image of God" spell, as it requires much sacrifice and knowledge to actually complete, and is so secretive that anybody with knowledge of it is killed.

    The thing I like most about this fic is how different it is from every other fic I've read, Wrong BWL genre or not. Like I said, every person in this fic has depth and dimension, unlike regular bash fics. It's never black and white with anybody, not even Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Indeed, in this story, Narcissa is much more malevolent than Lucius is. Lockhart, of course, is flipped COMPLETELY on his head. I don't think the author is making all these changes to snub JKR, I think he's doing it in order to make a more interesting story. This is quite obviously an AU story, you should take it as one, instead of as an author "trying to fix JKR's story."

    There aren't any completely unlikeable characters in this fic, really. There are a few, such as Pettigrew or Voldemort (obviously), but they are the clear villains of the fic and as such, can be described in terms of absolutely black and white with valid reason. Trust me, even if you dislike Draco, James, Lily, James Jr, Ron, or anyone, give it time, and the author will show you reasons to why these characters aren't all that bad.

    There are so many threads in this story. There are subplots upon subplots. Many characters have their own individual subplot. Ron has his, Ginny and Amy have theirs, Harry has many, Jim has his own, even flippin' Peter Pettigrew has his own plot. And there are more that I'm too lazy to list.

    It's why the story is 70 chapters and only halfway through second year. It's because each chapter deals with many different plots happening simultaneously. I'm rather excited to see them all finally tie together with the main plot of Harry's and explode in a spectacular climax.

    This has been the best Harry Potter story I've read in quite a while. I do believe that it even rivals Mira Mirth's story in being the best Slytherin Harry fic around. I can't say one is better than the other, because Mira is obviously trying to work within the confines of canon, while the author of this fic just blows the top off canon and goes on his own merry way, while still staying true to the spirit of Harry Potter.

    This fic easily rates a full 5/5 for me, because even though there are certain things in the fic I don't like or agree with, they are few, and not worth reducing my vote. I strongly, strongly urge everyone to read this fic, as it does what it promises in the summary: makes a well written, immensely readable fic based on cliches.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  4. abhi1012

    abhi1012 First Year

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    I liked this one quite a bit. The cliched start was a bit of a turn off majorly because I didn't expect the author to do a good job explaining the tropes.
    The characters are likeable enough. The only one that sticks out like a sore thumb is James's; he seems to be acting very unreasonably IMO. Even his slytherin bias seems a bit weirdly written even after taking into account the prophecy.

    4/5
     
  5. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    I actually do think the author tries to "fix JKR" occasionally. But he doesn't state "it should have been like this", instead he only says "I would have liked it better if it was like this".
    And in my book that's a completely understandable thing to do in one's own fanfiction.

    The new chapter was interesting as usual and its title seems to point towards quite a close conclusion (as are the dates).
    Although I think these computer-style diary thoughts in Ron's mind were a slightly misplaced joke. Ruined the scene a bit.
    Apart from that, I definitely did not see the newest reveal coming.
    Additionally, the author manages to write very well tension-wise (at least in the last updates) - the chapters usually start off with the less interesting scenes and proceed to have a very exciting/interesting conclusion/cliffhanger.
     
  6. iamnotreal

    iamnotreal Second Year

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    I'm not going to lie... I find many of the things happening in this story fascinating and original yet the smallest of things just seem to completely blow my immersion at times. As aforementioned above, the ludicrous sentence phrasing in regards to the Tom/Ron mind mirror scene was horrifying (that is, horrifyingly bad). He even mentions in the A/N about trying to make it terrifying but the tone of the words used to convey what was happening I felt was at stark contrast to essentially the description of legilimency and occlumency throughout the rest of the book. The words were far too technical and seemed like some sort of computer analyzing Ron's brain for inconsistencies to target and deal with. Yuck!
     
  7. Poisson.Distribution

    Poisson.Distribution Squib

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    Thoroughly meh. You claim that the fic has a novel take on these various cliches, but in the end it appears that all of the cliches present are used just as poorly as they always have been. The wrong boy who lived cliche, and the bad potter family cliche, and the slytherin harry cliche, and the meddling old coot dumbledore cliche, and the... It just keeps going on! Rather than a interesting way to breathe new life into these tropes, this fic reads more as a compilation of all of the overdone cliches with this sort of story all in one place.

    Not impressed. 2/5, tops.
     
  8. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    And how much of it did you read?

    Let me guess: Not more than at best 30 chapters. Because especially "wrong boy who lived cliche" and "meddling old coot dumbledore cliche" are simply not there or applied completely differently if you really mean this fic. By the way, what is "slytherin harry cliche" even supposed to BE?
    Seriously, it starts to get annoying that everyone has to spill his bullshit in here without reading the fucking whole thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  9. aguy

    aguy Squib

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    But you can't deny that this thing starts off pretty shit. The fact that the author redeems the story doesn't change the fact that the beginning chunk was pretty painful. I'm with you on this; the way that the author took the cliches and made something interesting from them is praiseworthy, despite the occasional flaw in execution. But the author would have been better served putting more hooks into the reader earlier to get them past the start.
     
  10. Paranoid Android

    Paranoid Android Professor

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    Well seeing as the first 30 chapters are easily the length of an average novel the fact that their quality is average at best is extremely pertinent. I personally think it just took the author a while to hit their stride, and when they do there's some great fanfiction. However the fact of the matter is that the first part of this story isn't very good.

    Rated as a whole I'd give this a 3/5 with the first part being a 2 and ~ch30 being a 4 and the latest updates edging a 5. However I really believe that the second half of this belongs in the library so I'll give it a 4/5 overall. I'd say just skip the first half but unfortunately it's kind of necessary to the secend half.
     
  11. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    Definitely. But I think he made fairly clear that he read at least part of Narf's post - and the main point of that post was to make people realize: "The story starts out clichéd, but the clichés are explained or carried out in a very interesting way. You will find that out if you read the whole fic."
    So, to come after that novel-length post and say "but there are clichés and you said it would be interesting" - despite obviously not reading the whole story - is quite ridiculous.

    On another matter: The author changed this strange "computer-diary"-thing and the scene indeed is far better now.

    I liked most part of the new chapter.
    As I really love Dumbledore in general, I'm obviously not ok with him being petrified, but that's completely subjective and has nothing to do with the author doing something wrong.
    What I definitely disliked was this info-dumpy part about Ron. It was informative, yes, but it's bad style to convey information like that.
     
  12. IBG

    IBG Seventh Year

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    Lol I'm sorry but just because Narf wrote an essay on it doesn't mean his decision to simply overlook everything has to be applied by everyone. The story has a hell of a lot of flaws that you simply need to ignore completely in order to rate it that highly, and that's on top of the fact that you're asked to soldier through 30 chapters of garbage too.

    In what way is the wrong boy who lived cliche not there? The story ticks every conceivable box for it. Meddling Dumbledore isn't there, but most of the components for it have simply been shifted to James. As for Slytherin Harry I assume he just meant the stereotypical indie fic where Harry gets sorted into Slytherin and suddenly gains the houses backing with no real sponsorship, speaks Parseltongue to get access to some previously unheard of position of power and learns a bunch of magics that canon Harry never even heard of or had access to all while in his first year of magic. It's not really a Slytherin cliche, but there aren't a lot of Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff stories and the general fanon approach is that Slytherin = all those things while Gryffindor Harry usually develops slower.

    The big redeeming factor for the story, as almost everyone has already noted is the richness of the subplots and the fact that so many characters have relevance and depth, but ultimately that still hinges on the author tying them all together in a truly spectacular way or half of them are going to be just irrelevant wastes of words. Given that the explanation for abandoning Harry on a doorstep, never visiting him, attempting to disinherit him and having everyone including good!Dumbledore ignore it or even go along with it ended up being just a vague ancient prophecy which wasn't even hinted at before it's reveal, and that only even Dumbledore needed to know in order to not try help Harry makes me doubt whether that will be delivered on.

    Honestly the best part of this story should be the character studies we get to do in seeing them react to all these new pieces of information as they get revealed. Unfortunately it turns out that James is willing to literally 180 on the son he raised and doted on at the drop of a hat, Lily is a sociopath that decides to murder Vernon despite the fact that she's still seemingly rather uninterested in supporting Harry. Dumbledore is at the very least an extreme downgrade from his canon self given how late he was going to be in offering any assistance to Harry, and even then just hearing the prophecy makes him go back to ignoring him altogether. I don't think I even need to go into Jim, although no doubt that will eventually get explained away by the magic invisible bugs, and Harry himself is extremely wishy-washy in his response to the Potter's, despite recognizing how grossly he was (and continues to be) mistreated by them.

    Basically every character that matters in the story is contrived in the extreme to suit whichever plot they need to at the given moment, even Neville and Hermione have suddenly decided to be on Team Jim because the caricature they're painted as here is of having extreme moral standards and therefore they must suddenly put aside their differences and actively attempt to help him when he needs it. In the end I think the only believable and really interesting character left is Pettigrew, because at least his motivations and actions toward them have remained consistently in line for the entirety of the story.

    I'm still reading, but only because I'm so far invested already. Yes originality is great, but I'm fairly sure the majority of it here is not because of some grand plan the author is slowly weaving together, but rather just to stroke his own ego by adding literally anything he can think of to the mix and butchering characters when necessary to make it fit. Thinking back, the summary was a great indication of that: no real hint of any long term plot, but just the simple promise that the guy would throw in a bunch of everything and make it work because he's awesome.

    Hopefully I'm eventually proven wrong and he pulls something truly magnificent out of all this, but if it's all going to boil down to some random bugs that only Luna can see as a catch-all reason for all this and after some struggle to reveal it Harry can go play happy family with the Potter's then that won't really be satisfying to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  13. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    I didn't say that. I have absolutely no problem with someone reading the first chapter and deciding "ugh, hell, no!"
    What irks me here is that he obviously read Narf's post, then read a few chapters and then proceeded to say "but there are clichés" when one of Narf's main points was to clearly state that the first chapters really don't do the rest justice.
    You can criticize the story for a lots and lotsof things, especially its beginning, but also more recent chapters. But you can't go, read 20 or so chapters and then say "oh, Narf was wrong, there were clichés we all know".
    It's like someone said: "Climb to the highest point of the mountain, the view will be great" and then you just climb to the middle platform and complain to everyone that you couldn't see a thing because there were trees in the way.

    I don't think so anymore. Jim has proved to be a better duelist and actually be a three-dimensional character which is something you can't say about almost every single other Wrong-Boy-Who-Lived there is. Additionally, you cannot even be sure that Jim really isn't the BWL.
    And the WBWL cliché for me at least is also heavily defined through the flatness of Harry's brother.

    That's an interesting viewpoint actually, didn't see it like this, but you could be right. Wrong actions because of a prophecy, shady decisions and strange ideas of right and wrong.
    However, it doesn't seem as bad at least to me, because we don't know James as well from canon.

    "Butchering characters" is definitely there at some points, you're right. Although I didn't notice it on most adults, only on the kids. As of now.
    However, I'm not sure anymore about the "ego" point. Ten or so chapters before, I might have agreed, but the teams Lockhart builded, especially "Mysterioso", did lead to a point, so I'm carefully optimistic for the other main plotlines.

    What I also wanted to say: One of the reasons I'm defending the author might be that I sympathize with how his story progressed.
    A few years ago, I also wrote a story that was completely fucked up - and after one year of writing I suddenly noticed just how bad it really was. And then I tried to explain away all the illogical and clichéd things that happened in the beginning.
    I think something similar happened to him, because there are some things in here that seem simply strange in terms of natural story progress.
    And if someone would've judged my story because of those awful 10 or 15 first chapters back then, I would have gotten quite pissed. ^^
     
  14. IBG

    IBG Seventh Year

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    The WBWL cliche to me is derived from the ridiculous premises that are used to toss Harry away to the Dursley's to suffer and completely forget about him, followed by the token attempt to pick him back up once he turns 11 and comes to Hogwarts and him spurning them and then in no time at all outshining his brother that grew up in the magical world and was trained from a young age despite having far less resources.

    I disagree heavily on Jim being a three dimensional character as well. You're relying entirely on the bugs clearing his irrational actions to make it so, but without his irrational hatred of Harry what's interesting about him even left? Despite how much he's featured in the story so far, the answer is literally nothing.

    You're right about Mysterioso, it's the main thing this fic has holding it together and it hinges so heavily on that paying off. The Pettigrew plotline will no doubt also eventually be interesting when Sirius' innocence comes out, but as I said before, both these storylines are very heavily weakened by the terrible characterization.

    Reading James/Lily/Jim's reactions to the Mysterioso findings as they came out bit by bit might well have been really interesting if it was hinted that their actions were unnatural or odd before and they picked up on it themselves and wondered about it, or others did and at least tried to do something. However even people like Dumbledore in the story just took it in stride as normal behaviour, sweeping aside that and all the other ridiculous shit they do. We have little idea of their thought processes, and if Mysterioso somehow explains it all away into a neat little bundle and they do another instant change then that's just another point to how utterly contrived their characters are.

    Same thing with the Pettigew storyline, he's going to come out as guilty eventually but when the two most affected characters are this version of James and Lily I don't know how interesting it will really be to read.
     
  15. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    Not quite. I think he's courageous and wants to save as much people as he can (Basilisk scene, the scene where he saves that girl) quite a bit like the real canon Harry. Additionally he wants to meet people's expectations (his training) and is afraid of disappointing everyone (him being afraid of Harry surpassing him). That's backed up by quite a bit of actual skill (him surpassing Harry in the duel).
    Yes, I think him to actually be three-dimensional, not just seeming like it.
     
  16. aguy

    aguy Squib

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    Agreed. The characterizations and the tactical writing style (style of writing taking each chapter as it comes) are great. My only complaints with this story are on a plotting/revelation of information basis in the beginning. I think the way that Jim and Harry are portrayed in the recent chapters is 3d, realistic, reasonable in the character strengths and flaws especially given the age, and has a number of side-plots I find fascinating.
     
  17. Dicra

    Dicra Groundskeeper

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    The new chapter was absolute and pure gold. Nothing more to say about it.

    If he keeps this up with the "Endgame" chapters that are about to come, I'll lift my rating to 5/5.
     
  18. JErosion

    JErosion DA Member

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    Yep, The cliffhangers are real. I got to hand it to The Sinister Man, he knows how to build tension and intrigue.
     
  19. sildet

    sildet Sixth Year

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    I haven't been overtly analyzing this fic, just casually reading it, but I always felt like James (really, the entire Potter family besides Harry) was being manipulated by Pettigrew in some way (be it magically or otherwise) to act as horribly as he has been. This ties into the muggle hating magic that is tethered to Harry, which I also thought was Pettigrew.

    Maybe that was just me jumping to crazy conclusions. I don't really remember whether this was hinted at or not.
     
  20. IBG

    IBG Seventh Year

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    Nope. At least I'm 100% sure there's nothing hinting of that in the story so far. If the author comes out and announces that it was just Pettigrew all along at this point then IDK, not a very good reveal anyway IMO, neither in the sense of it being good storytelling nor in believability, since Pettigrew's already toeing the line there anyway with how much he seems to have been getting away with.

    Pettigrew doesn't really gain anything out of it anyway either since it's in his interests for the Potters, as his patron to be as strong as possible.
     
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