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WIP Old Blood by Oil on Canvas - T

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by Lindsey, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Alright, so I'm not usually one to defend a fic. People can rate it however they want. Hell, I drop fics all the time for any random reason. But I really think you didn't give this one a fair shake. Firstly, it's a fic starting first year, so abandoning it before it even gets to Hogwarts is a bit dramatic. I get that the idea of saying "the story gets better later on" is a bit cliche, but we're seriously talking about two chapters before Harry is on the Hogwarts Express. No one should expect the hook for this kind of story to happen in the pre-Hogwarts stuff. It's all just setup, and it's mostly forgettable. That's not exactly a crime, since it's a first year fic and no one wants to read 50k words of a shopping trip. Really, the only complaint I have about the early stuff is Quirrell is just a gigantic Mary Sue, and not nearly as interesting as the author thinks she is. The rest is stuff, that even if I don't like the concept of, I can acknowledge that the author has an idea of what they're doing with their worldbuilding, such as with the banking stuff.

    The writing early on isn't that bad either. It's not like the author simply ran his native language through google translate. There's not even that many spelling mistakes. The main issue I saw is that the conversations felt like aliens talking to each other in simulated English, rather than actual people, but that does improve pretty quickly (as Lindsey says she's become the beta writer since then), though I won't say it becomes a masterpiece or anything.
     
  2. Villanelle

    Villanelle Groundskeeper

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    Right. Did the point of divergence need to have been this far in the past for things to pan out the way they have? Doesn’t really seem like it, save for little hints which don’t appear to be anything more than background world building.

    Having said that, first year isn’t over yet and who knows, maybe we’ll discover more changes to what we know as the wizarding world, but so far the changes seem rather superficial and similar results could’ve been obtained with either Dumbledore or Tom making different choices sometime before 1945.
     
  3. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Groundskeeper

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    I've read this a couple months ago when Sesc recommended it in a thread about the best fics of 2017. My general sentiment about it is that he was completely right. It's new, it's fresh, and it feels like Harry Potter in a fandom that only slips away from it.

    The weakest point of the fanfic is the slow and roughish start. The first four chapters, despite building the world nicely and leaving us excited to learn more about it, borrow heavily from canon. It feels almost like the author was learning to walk. After that, almost everything flows nicely and manage to stand on its own. Harry's integration in Hogwarts is not rushed and his involvement with Quirrell (Voldemort?) is dealt with in a nice pace. And recent chapters have delivered reveals I wasn't expecting at all. It seems the mystery is really about what happened to Harry's parents during the war.

    I really didn't see the wooden dialogue some spoke of. Harry's interactions with his friends and would-be friends are good and feel like children talking to children. Ron seems to have a bit more complex character here, and Hermione obsession with mysteries is a nice flavor to her obsession with books. Daphne is not completely original but does have a good execution. She's outright unpleasant at first instead of the cliched cold persona, and that warrants at least an Exceeds Expectations in my book.

    Quirrell though is the selling point of this fic. Fun, charming, and manipulative as balls. It's easy to like her and forget she's most likely evil. If she's really Voldemort I'm okay with it. If she isn't and remains as Harry's master I'm okay with it too.

    World building is great. I especially liked turning Hagrid into a world-famous creatures specialist. His basement and its caretaker (another good character) are interesting, along with the creatures. I really did not mind the snakes because of the fable-like feeling they added to the story, keeping the children's book quality of the original HP. However, I'm really interested in why this story is integrated with Arthurian legends. I think this hasn't really been addressed yet. The Civil War and the ruptured Britain stuff is also something to look forward to. It feels like more than what an eleven-year-old can comprehend is involved in that.

    TLDR: It's an interesting new take on the world of Harry Potter with fun characters, fun interactions, and a captivating (probably) villain.

    Very hopeful 5/5 because it manages to find the roots the fandom has long abandoned.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  4. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    I only skimmed the last updates b/c time, which annoys me, because this story deserves more.

    Anyway, though, I will say that if
    "Definitely," said Ron. "And if Voldemort... well... did them in, it must mean they weren't one of his Dark Wizards, not really."

    Harry smiled. Ron's logic was flawless. If Voldemort was a dark wizard, and Harry was sure he had been one, it made sense that his parents would disagree with him once they found out.

    "Of course!" Harry exclaimed, wincing when a grunt came Neville's bed. He continued in a lower voice. "You're a genius, Ron! That's why he killed them! They tried to run away from him, and if he was as dark as people say there's no way he'd let them."

    "That must have been it," replied Ron, puffing out his chest and smiling to himself. "Everyone says those Death Eaters of his were more of a cult than anything. They probably didn't want to be part of it."

    It was like an invisible weight had been lifted off Harry's chest. He breathed easier, and his throat loosened.
    is what is is, and is all that is, my disappointment will reach outer space and I will rate this 1/5 out of spite.

    At the same time, I don't feel the author would do that. To create such a world, and then not play in the twilight, in inner conflicts, flaws, doubts, ambiguous motivations, would be the waste of the century. So I'm rather hopeful Harry is setting himself up for a disappointment-and-growth arc here, and his (and Ron's) logic is a flawless and well-done expression of their age (instead of reflecting the author's age, see: every Indy fic ever). And bonus points for Slytherin!Lily. Now take that setup and make me proud.

    Edit: Also, rofl @FF.net reviews. But considering the existing undertones (intentionally or not), you can't exactly blame them -- someone was bound to write this. Of the suggested options, I think the steamy centaur sexromance has the most potential /s
     
  5. theimmortalhp

    theimmortalhp Second Year

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    I definitely got the impression from reading that part and other backstory that we get of Harry's parents that he's going to be disappointed on this count. Though the degree I'm not sure on.
     
  6. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    I wouldn't mind if that were the case. I think a lot of the charm of the story comes from the fact that Harry is overshadowed by all of his peers.
     
  7. Lindsey

    Lindsey Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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  8. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Old Blood has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 15
    Words: 106,629
    Updated: 2020-07-23 18:39:48 UTC
    Published: 2017-03-24 03:26:08 UTC
    Previously updated: over 1 year ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  9. neongreenbeast

    neongreenbeast First Year

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    The author sure as shit delivered in the latest chapter. Even after all the speculation about Lily and James' history with Voldemort, this reveal was completely unexpected.

    A bit disappointed with Quirrel's fate though. With all the focus on changing the character's gender, the final plotline could have diverged from canon a bit more. Assuming there's another plot twist coming, but seems unlikely.
     
  10. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Old Blood has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 16
    Words: 109,834
    Updated: 2020-08-09 17:57:56 UTC
    Published: 2017-03-24 03:26:08 UTC
    Previously updated: 17 days ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  11. bsm

    bsm Muggle

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    I'm not totally sure what it is, but there is something really compelling about this for me. Sure the English has some clunkiness in places and the whole thing could do with a style pass, but overall there's just a sense of magic most fics miss. It has a Philosopher's Stone feeling to me that is really rare (What You Leave Behind being the most obvious other example) - I think it might come from the total sincerity the story is presented with.

    I agree that Quirrell (especially in her relationship with Harry) is essentially the engine of much of the story's plot and character dynamics. For me this is a welcome change in structure from the actual PS novel, which means it feels fresh while keeping to the tone as mentioned above. It will be interesting to see how/if this relationship can be kept central as the story moves forward, and I hope it is prioritised above adherence to a pseudo-canon trajectory.

    Personally a 5/5, with only minor problems to scrub up.
     
  12. yargle

    yargle Second Year

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    Well, I completely missed this story updating. Kind of wish I reread the rest of it before reading the updates since I have forgotten more than I thought. The reveal was definitely great, and I appreciate that all the questions that have come up through the story so far weren't answered at the end.

    Here's to hoping that year two doesn't take over a year like chapter 15 did. Really want to see where this story goes.
     
  13. Jarizok

    Jarizok High Inquisitor

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    I can only heap on the praise.

    We were kinda right while at the same time I’d have never guessed the specifics of the Quirrell thing, which is exactly where you want your readers to be. That same sweet spot was hit with the dream sequence and the stuff inside the mirror. It was interesting and a fun read, and mysterious yet not so much that you’re left unsatisfied.

    Harry is great. Ron is great. Hermione is Hermione but just a tiny bit /more/. Both Hufflepuff sisters are interesting. Draco is barely mentioned at all.

    Daphne’s characterization is the least interesting / most cliche if I had to name a negative, but at least there’s backstory there that’ll hopefully go somewhere.

    All of this doesn’t even mention the whole Arthurian legrnd thing and the bigger world building stuff, which is kinda just background promising /things/ in the future.

    I’m there for it.

    5/5
     
  14. pbluekan

    pbluekan Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    I need to re read this to really get a feel for it again, but the author has such a finely tuned grip on the characters that I had to check, when I read the installment today, if one particular line had come out of the original books. Which it hadn’t.

    This line is emblematic of Oil’s grasp and mastery of writing these characters. It and the conversation around it is perfectly and undeniably Dumbledore.

    5/5 based solely on that line and the conversation around it.
     
  15. AlexIY

    AlexIY First Year

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    This has the potential to do what many AU Canon re-writes try to do but fail at, and that is grasping the very concept of Harry Potter and using it. The whimsy of the first book is there, albeit a little hidden under some of the darker themes, but for the most part Harry is believable for his age.

    Though it's a tad short on the details for my liking, there's a lot of telling vs showing in terms of the world-building. And while it works, for now, it's going to be annoying if there are just a thousand things we see and have to remember for some later point in the story to come into play.

    I also applaud the proper characterization of Ron and I actually love what was done with him.
    The way Harry and Ron's positions were inverted from canon in terms of money/societal hierarchy etc... is very clever and makes me want to read more. Also, Duelling being a more popular wizarding sport which IMO should've been canon anyways. I'd like to also touch on the Quirrell reveal as well because it's a large part of the story. It was decently done but I sort of don't really get it. Like I understand Voldemort as a person has been body-swapping for quite some time and that he's probably Tom Riddle. But it's kind of creepy and sort of unneeded to have Voldemort also have been Lily Potter who gave birth to Harry.

    My only small gripe is the slipping of terms that sort of infuriating to me whenever I see them pop up, likely because of my own implicit bias against them. When eyes are described as "Orbs" it just breaks something for me when I'm reading and makes me assume I'm reading something of lower quality by it being in there. Also, a few grammatical errors that while not as prominent in the first chapters, there was one chapter where a word and its placement was so badly botched I had no idea what I was reading.

    4/5
     
  16. yargle

    yargle Second Year

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    I need to reread this story, but I'm fairly certain Voldemort possessed Lily after Harry was born and whatever event led to Voldemort wanting the Potters dead. The emotions re:Harry that Voldemort now has are from the vestiges that Lily had while being possessed.
     
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