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Opinion on Slytherin Harry

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Jocelyn24, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Jocelyn24

    Jocelyn24 Squib

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    I like these fics, if they're done right. When they aren't about Harry gaining insane amounts of power, etc...

    What do you think is the best Slytherin Harry fic?
     
  2. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Sesc's Traitor's Son is shaping up to be a very good version of this.

    People are going to recommend On the Way to Greatness by mira mirth, but it's mostly canon rehash so I'm not a fan personally.

    Basically, I think that there needs to be a good reason why Harry is in Slytherin. It would require a character change to make it possible.

    Just asking "well what if" isn't enough in this case.

    He would have to be fundamentally different from his canon version to be in Slytherin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  3. Blinker

    Blinker Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Thanks for the recommendation of Sesc's fic. I've got to disagree with your final point though. I can't remember if this is how mira mirth does it but given that the Hat seriously contemplates putting Harry in Slytherin all you really need is for Harry not to be so resistant to the idea. Given his ignorance of the wizarding world at that point this is fairly easy to achieve with a few changes to his pre-Hogwarts interactions.
     
  4. ihateseatbelts

    ihateseatbelts Seventh Year

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    I'm really not a fan of Slytherin!Harry (a couple of fics do it well, but that's a couple out of however many thousands). Still, I don't think it would take much to get him Sorted there. If a divergence is introduced where Flitwick or someone else takes Harry to Diagon Alley, and he shares a compartment with someone other than Ron on the train, his misgivings about being in Slytherin probably wouldn't exist.

    EDIT: What Blinker said.
     
  5. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    But then you would have a Gryffindor Harry in Slytherin.

    The Hat only suggested Slytherin because of Riddle's Horcrux. Canon Harry is a Gryffindor at heart, he's no good for Slytherin.

    He'd be miserable there.
     
  6. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    It entirely depends on what you want to do. Of course you can alter that one event (Harry gets sorted into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor), you don't even need a reason for that. Premises don't need a reason, they are axiomatic.

    The thing is just that I don't think it makes for a very interesting story (and I think that's what Xandrel meant too). In the end, the entire reason Mira's story is constructed as it is (year number corresponding to chapter number) is the acknowledgement that if you do end up doing it that way, there isn't much to tell.

    An alternative option would be, by the way, to write a fifth (sixth/seventh ...) year story set in an AU where that Slytherin sorting happened. I'm actually surprised this isn't more common. It's an elegant way to avoid the Canon repetition, and keep the reader interested, because he wants to find out what happened so far and how it changed the story he knows. Highly recommended.


    I prefer writing complete AUs, because I like altering Harry's character, and when you're doing that, you might as well throw out Canon while you're at it, and rework everything from scratch. It's more work, but I enjoy it. The reasoning, ultimately, is this: I want to read Slytherin!Harry because I don't want to read Canon!Harry (for that, I have the books). So sticking Canon!Harry into Slytherin gives me nothing, it defeats the purpose. And hence I give him a character that fits Slytherin, and go from there.
     
  7. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    To be completely honest, if we are talking about a pure "what if" speculation, that is Canon Harry somehow getting into Slytherin, then here is what would happen:

    Let's say the Point of Divergence is Harry not meeting Draco on the Hogwarts express.

    He isn't as desperate to remain out of Slytherin and that is where the Hat puts him.

    Snape still hates him, that does not change. Ron doesn't like Harry anymore, because kids are kids and rivalries are rivalries.

    Draco finally introduces himself to Harry and offers to help him adjust to Slytherin. Harry being without a friend, reluctantly agrees.

    The consequence would be Harry not being friends with Hermione or Ron and not getting involved in the Stone adventures.

    Result: Quirrell still doesn't get the Stone because the Mirror stops him. Voldemort escapes and Quirinus dies anyway.

    It is possible, though improbable that Lucius still gives Ginny the Diary. However without Harry's presence in the lives of Weasleys, a strong possibility exists that Harry never gets access to the Diary or even becomes involved in this whole Chamber of Secrets business.

    The result may be Riddle killing Ginny and returning to power many years earlier than in canon.

    Mind you, this is what I think would happen given canon facts.

    But as Sesc above says, it is simply not only easier but sometimes more interesting to just create an Alternate Universe rather than an Alternate Timeline (and yes, there is a difference).

    It is the symbolism. Canon Harry has Gryffindor values and simply belongs in Gryffindor thematically in the story. A fic about Harry in Slytherin must have a Harry that belongs there truly.
     
  8. Odran

    Odran Fourth Champion

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    One of the best iterations of a Slytherin!Harry I've read was the one from "Control".

    I don't mind Harry going to Slytherin, but I generally dislike how some writers handle it. Sure, it's got the standard approach at fleshing out, or at least attempting to flesh out, the blank slates of Slytherin (Daphne Greengrass, Tracey Davis, Nott and so on), but more often than not, people end up writing about Harry being friends with Malfoy, as if a Slytherin!Harry could simply not exist as such without him by his side.

    I also dislike it when there's an obvious pureblood bias present in the story, how they're these poor misunderstood group of people fighting for their world from being changed too much and too fast, or some such nonsense. I don't mind pureblood stuff in the story, it is after all integral to Slytherin himself, but I expect some sense or reason behind it.
     
  9. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    You know what would be really interesting?

    If at least one writer dropped the pretense at painting the pureblood supremacists as misunderstood but good people and simply had them be as they truly are.

    You are allowed to have a villain protagonist. Bad people can be the POVs of stories.

    You can have Harry be a pureblood supremacist and be ashamed of Lily's blood status just like Voldemort was ashamed of his father.

    It would even make the two of them more similar than in canon (something Tom in the Chamber highlighted).

    We have a whole section of Dark Harry stories here on the DARK LORD POTTER forums after all.

    Why bother with all this "dark magic is not bad, just misunderstood" bullshit? Why dance around the issue?

    Just have Harry be a purist dark wizard, if that's your thing.

    At least then Slytherin will be a much better choice for him than Gryffindor ;)
     
  10. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

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    The question is complicated - is a "Slytherin!Harry" defined by embodying the characteristics that Salazar Slytherin prized? because if so, I had never seen it done right - Harry is always either too reckless, too naive, or worse, too over the top and comes out like a caricature. Of course, I wouldn't expect many eleven year olds to be very refined in their attitude, or to embody the traits of a Slytherin, so in a sense it's realistic, but then you just lose the entire purpose of having him in Slytherin. Unless your aim is a story with "Slytherin house politics", which is another thing I had never seen done well.

    I do think that canon Harry had "Slytherin qualities", though he had enough Gryffindor ones as well. He seemed to be more cunning and resourceful than most Slytherins we've seen.

    The best Slytherin!Harry story in my opinion is Out of the Depths by Mordac, simply because it's actually subtle in characterization of Slytherins.
     
  11. kira and light

    kira and light Seventh Year

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    Lol, the horcrux had nothing to do with it this just your fanon talking the hat clearly sorts based on personality and abilities but it will in the end place you where you truly want to be besides it most certainly can't sense a horcrux and the only thing Harry got from it was Parseltongue.

    Even Crabe and Goyle ended up in Slytehrin despite having clearly no cunning or ambition, the hat will send you where you want to be like Dumbledore said it is our choices that define us not our abilities.

    Besides i am pretty sure Canon Harry would have ended up in Slytherin if he wouldn't have gotten preconceived notions about Slytherin being a breeding ground for Dark Wizards or if he hadn't met Malfoy.

    Canon Harry would probably take some time to adapt to Slytherin but I think a realistic portrayl would be OTWTG, 11 year old Harry actually had the pontential to end up very cunning and ambitious just as he had it to be brave and nobel.

    The circumstances and the people who surround him would force him to change and his innate abilities and personality at 11 would have made Harry into a pretty good Slytherin.
     
  12. Jjf88

    Jjf88 Auror

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    One of the biggest things that the books offer us in terms of information is that not every Gryffindor is brave and not every Slytherin is er..not brave i.e. Snape and Pettigrew.

    Harry had the cunning to plan a robbery of Gringotts and the ambition to learn the Patronus Charm as well as becoming Head Auror. These are all canon facts. He may appear to be lazy in the scenes we see him in the books but that's more to do with the fact that he's friends with Ron.

    If your best mate can't be arsed doing homework and offers to chill out, most teens would do it.

    He's also a very witty person. We see that from his interactions with the Dursleys. It doesn't make him any less brave. His impulsive nature could have been tempered by being in a different house but in Gryffindor it was almost nurtured by his successes.

    Back on topic: Slytherin Harry is fun if it isn't simply Harry in a different house with the same outcome. It presents new challenges and new areas to explore, Purebloods and their magical culture, possibly a more politically inclined fic or sometimes a guilty pleasure where Harry smirks at everything. It's an AU, and at the end of the day they're fun because the authors have creative control to put their own stamp on something different than the source material.
     
  13. LinguaManiac

    LinguaManiac DA Member

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    I... don't think this is canon. In fact, given that the whole conceit of canon is that people with similar skills and backgrounds become different people by the choices they make, contrasting Harry with Voldemort, if it were true that the Horcrux was the only reason Harry would have been "great" in Slytherin, it would violate the whole moral argument of the books.


    Moving on and to the more geneeral, though, I think the reason everyone loves On the Way to Greatness is that it's the only Slytherin!Harry fic I know which takes Harry's canon personality and puts it in Slytherin, and then we see his personality change and his interests adapt based on his friends and his experiences.

    I would love to see a Slytherin!Harry that plays with that idea more, a fic that traces the changes more explicitly. But it would be a really long, hard slog for little in the way of reward, so I understand why there are few writers out there who want to take it on. (This is what happened to me, actually. I outlined a full seven year version of Harry in Slytherin but have never been able to write more than a chapter or three because there's far too much set up for the pay-off I'd get).
     
  14. Salamandra88

    Salamandra88 Squib

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    I like these fics, when they are done right, because I actually think that Harry could have been sorted into Slytherin, I even think it would have been more logical. Just imagining the kid that was never loved in his aunt family and was bullied by his cousin and never had friends in school because of him. For me it seems strange that he has grown up so kind and good. He could have much more in common with Tom Riddle, the other character that has grown up without a loving family. I understand that such Slytherin Harry would have spoiled the book idea, but other than that it seems very logical. Plus Draco Malfoy tried to become his friend in the beginning, yes he behaved not too clever, but they were just 11 old children and could well become friends, than Harry would not ask the Hat to not sort him in Slytherin and could well end up there. And such beginning can give the fic author many new possibilities and "new characters" that were in the book but practically not described, so they can become nerly anybody author wants.
     
  15. morningbeauvoir

    morningbeauvoir First Year

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    While I wouldn't say they were the best Slytherin!Harry fics that I've read, or could find, I enjoyed the Serpensortia series on Ao3 a lot. It was refreshing for a number of reasons, first that they managed to get a lot of canon characterisations right, and make the slytherins kids first (and if the author starts on the next part I'll submit it for review since there's no sign that it'll be continued yet).
     
  16. JunglePlayer

    JunglePlayer Squib

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    I like the idea well enough, but to date I've only found one story that does it perfectly from 1st year. The rest are a bit different: going back to the past and getting sorted in Slytherin (Harry usually in fifth or sixth year), or getting a new identity and returning to Hogwarts to be sorted into Slytherin, etc.

    I've found that generally "going back to the past and getting put in the Snake's den" stories are surprisingly good, on average, given that the authors actually start off with Harry's canon personality, e.g. a mixture of Slytherin and Gryffindor, and don't immediately invent an OC of their own to masquerade in Harry Potter's shoes, in these stories. Unlike the "Harry gets chummy with Malfoy before or afterr Sorting, get into Slytherin, becomes chummy with all the Junior DEs and discovers their innate good and their plight and becomes a blood supremacy snob himself" stories, if you get what I mean.

    It's pretty sad, because I'm personally of the opinion that Harry does fit in Slytherin, even though he probably won't be very happy there for the first few years, and won't immediatley fit in, if ever. Puts him dangerously close to Riddle's situation - but again, that's actually the allure of these kind of stories for me, it's just that I've only found one story that did it right.
     
  17. lightningdrifter

    lightningdrifter First Year

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    Agreed on almost all of this. Which story btw?
     
  18. trip

    trip Squib

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    My favourite Slytherin!Harry story has to be Hogwarts Battle School, reason simply being because Harry and the Gryffindors share an animosity between each other. Most Slytherin!Harry stories I find usually end up with Harry being great friends with some of the Gryffindors and mostly ignoring the people in his house around him. Never in canon did Harry share a single positive exchange with a Slytherin and I'd like to think if the houses were reversed he would do the same.
     
  19. fire

    fire Unspeakable

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    I have a dark, dirty confession - Half Blood Prince was my favourite HP book.

    And what HBP showed is that Harry could indeed do very well in Slytherin. He was ambitious enough and concerned enough about doing well to use an "unfair" advantage in the HBP's potions textbook (as opposed to doing things the "right" way - i.e. studying on his own, ala Hermoine).

    He was cunning enough to solve the problems he faced that year with subtlety, rather than bone headed courage - tricking Ron into confidence via the placebo effect; manipulating Slughorn into giving up the memory via the use of his mother's memory; hiding away the HBP potions textbook in the Room of Requirement when he knew the jig was up.

    And there were also those dark, ruthless moments, from the minor (getting enraged and jealous at Dean and Ginny), to the major (gutting Malfoy with Sectumsempra), to the highly consequential (forcing the Worst-Memory potion down Dumbledore's throat).

    Not sure about you guys, but all that seems pretty Slytherin to me.
     
  20. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, but JKR loves violating her own moral argument:


    http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2007/1217-pottercast-anelli.html

    Another example would be having Tom Riddle born evil because he was a magical rape baby.

    That said, I think Xandrel is somewhat premature in dismissing canon Harry in Slytherin as merely Gryffindor Harry in Slytherin, because of this:

    That is: yes, the Sorting Hat sensed the horcrux and that's why it wanted to put Harry in Slytherin, BUT the separation between Harry and the horcrux is not set in stone. We know that when Harry is "in a dark time" then whatever keeps the horcrux at bay begins to weaken. If Harry, after being sorted into Slytherin, began making little compromises on his ethics due to peer pressure or sheer convenience, then we might begin to see the horcrux begin to influence Harry in a more fundamental way. So the Sorting Hat's sensing of the horcrux isn't character-neutral. The horcrux very much could push Harry's character in a direction in which he would be happy in Slytherin, if Harry begins to let it.
     
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