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Complete Proof by Novensides - T

Discussion in 'General Fics' started by Rahkesh Asmodaeus, May 31, 2019.

  1. Rahkesh Asmodaeus

    Rahkesh Asmodaeus THUNDAH Bawd Admin DLP Supporter

    Apr 3, 2005
    Title: Proof
    Author: novensides
    Rating: T
    Genre: Gen
    Status: Complete
    Category: General Fics
    Pairings: None

    "Proofing, also sometimes called final fermentation, is the specific term for allowing dough to rise after it has been shaped and before it is baked."

    Less than a year has passed since the final battle, and the Ministry is already up to its old tricks. Harry would very much like them to stop ignoring due process, tossing people in Azkaban, controlling the press, and menacing the populace with dementors.

    He would also like, if at all possible, to bake a passable loaf of bread.

    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/15687453/chapters/36450108

    Small (~30k words), complete post-war fic, starts about 5 months after the Final Battle. Harry is somewhat of a recluse at 12 Grimmauld, kinda just bored with life as he didn't go back to Hogwarts for the final year, and takes to baking as a hobby.

    The plot is decent, about him taking his seat on the Wizengamot and trying to change things from within. Where this story really shines, however, is the writing. It's fantastic. It's humorous, draws you in, and deftly captures every character's personality. Nothing feels forced, everything flows at a nice pace, and the author doesn't drag things out. It's a nice, light and airy fic to read. A breath of fresh air after how stagnated the HP fandom has become of late.

    5/5 for me.
  2. harryphoenix

    harryphoenix Squib

    Apr 7, 2009
    Honestly one of the most delightful stories I’ve read from the Potter fandom in a long time. It captures the somewhat whimsical nature of the books almost perfectly, while expanding on the universe and keeping the characters true to themselves. The author has a talent for language and mimicking JKR’s style that is truly wonderful. A nice little slice of life that I desperately needed. 5/5
  3. Damy

    Damy First Year

    Jan 21, 2014
    I enjoyed reading this. Good grammar, or at least I didn't notice anything that would break immersion while skimming. Characterization was on point - maybe canonesque, at least pretty close. A bit too much tell instead of show, but some of the character interactions are really good.

    The premise is is interesting, as I don't think we have a relaxed but serious topic political drama fic - of course this fic isn't that, but that's what it promised.

    The problem for me is that there is very little conflict, or indeed very little of anything happening. Part of this is the canon-like characters, that is to say the Hermione problem. Need the press to play nice? Hermione. Need to draft a bill? Hermione. Who gets a place on the super exclusive (which is part of the setup) hereditary council? Hermione. Admittedly, by that point like half the council has gifted their seats to Harry, so it doesn't actually make a difference, but still.

    Basically this story is: Decent setup, actually quite interesting, good interactions. And then everything worked out just fine.
  4. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Nov 11, 2009
    High Score:
    Solid story, filled with enjoyable turns of phrase. It could have done with another twenty five thousand words to flesh things out a bit, show more of the main plot, and add some conflict, but honestly the way the 'conflict' played out is the way things should/would have gone in canon anyway with the state of the Wizard World after the war. 4/5 from me.
  5. KingRoger

    KingRoger Second Year

    Jun 16, 2012
    This was a fun one. Solid writing, and I enjoy a Harry who’s clearly trying his very best to just keep to himself, like a happier Sum of Their Parts. The ending was a bit sudden, but the author said they didn’t know how to continue it, and I can appreciate someone knowing when to just stop. 4/5
  6. James

    James High Inquisitor

    Jan 22, 2015
    Solid slice of life, if a bit short. Especially when it hit one of my pet peeves (namely unresolved feelings of dissatisfaction) with post war Harry.

    Had quite a solid grasp on little tidbits of magic in the everyday objects, one of the better aspects of Harry Potter. 3/5 from me.
  7. Drachna

    Drachna Second Year

    Jun 22, 2016
    High Score:
    I really liked it. Though it isn't a oneshot Ao3 has a handy feature that lets you view the whole fic at once so it feel like one, which I would recommend you do. It's funny and light hearted while still maintaining just enough gravity to keep you invested in the outcome, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  8. InfernoPlato

    InfernoPlato Squib

    Aug 5, 2013
    Currently in the United Kingdom

    I found this a fun read and I was left wanting for more.

    Interesting premise, engaging writing (although I did skip past the cooking bits which bored me), and competent writing. Where it falls flat in my view is that one: the plot moves at too fast of a pace for me to truly enjoy it and two: if you step back away from the fast moving plot, you see some of the flaws in the world building and it starts to lose its luster. In particular for me, the politics of the world just didn't make sense. Not from a world building perspective mind you, but in how the characters responded to what Harry was doing. It was wasn't realistic, people would not sit by and be that incompetent.

    PWIZDUO Third Year

    Dec 21, 2011
    What a pleasure to read. Short, sweet, funny and very well written.

    4.5 rounded up to 5 with the half point coming because there could have been a tad more conflict.

    Deserves to be in the library for sure.
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Jan 6, 2009
    Yeah this is great. Does exactly what it sets out to do and I'd happily rate it at 4.5/5 but I'm rounding down. There's just not quite enough meat to it for the length but damn - well done.
  11. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Mar 5, 2006
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    My problem with this fic -- and with all such fics, no matter how well written -- is summarised in Chapter 1:

    Fundamentally, I cannot suspend my disbelief that the Order and their allies, who have just won a civil war against the pure-blood establishment via force of arms, would be willing to just sit back and let the law get in the way of "cleaning house". I recall having such a discussion with Sesc regarding Unatoned, and the same applies here.

    While I am interested in a political Harry without all the manipulative Dumbledore baggage, which pays attention to the real wheeling and dealing of politics rather than giving everything to Harry on a plate... the period immediately after DH seems the least appropriate time for it in the entire series. Civil war is what happens when institutions stop working and people take the law into their own hands. The natural and inevitable conclusion of such a conflict is that social institutions are remade in the image of the victor. Portraying Harry and Kingsley as the underdogs when they have just achieved military victory just doesn't wash for me, and I don't think it ever will. It would be like the Allies of WWII failing to convict anyone at the Nuremberg trials because of argument that the Nazis' actions were legal under German law at the time.

    Otherwise -- the story is well written, though I don't think it's quite as well written as those above have said. There's been more than one point where I've had to re-read lines because they haven't parsed properly. Just one example:

    When you first read the "that's not the point" line, you read it with Hermione's voice - she had been the one who had last spoken before Ron, and you can see that her name comes next after the dialogue, which you associate with a "Hermione said".

    While it's true that the author was aiming for us to be surprised that it was Harry saying it, rather than Hermione, they've rather overachieved their aim, because it literally reads as if Hermione said it, and then you have go back, re-read, and correct your understanding of the scene.

    Overall I'd give this a 4.5/5, rounded down to 4 because the title is not capitalised properly.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  12. CaffeineAddict

    CaffeineAddict Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'll echo what @Taure says about the Order just letting the Wizengamot do its thing, which, incidentally is not an uncommon trope in post-war fics. Which bothers me, but whatever.

    That said, this was humorous and thoroughly entertaining. It's well-paced, the prose is reasonably tight (with some clumsily executed phrases), and it does what it sets out to do, which is more than a lot of fics manage.

    The characterisation is also top-notch.

    I give it a solid 4/5. Definitely Library worthy.
  13. pbluekan

    pbluekan Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Jan 24, 2014
    Dancing in the Mindfield
    I’ll drop a third on what @Taure and @CaffeineAddict said. Everything reverting in this way just doesn’t quite seem plausible and it’s the failing of pretty much every political fic.

    Really, the keystone of this piece is the prose and tone. It feels like something out of the early books. The touch of whimsy, absurdity, and humor that are all there.

    Beyond that, it’s straightforward and concise. We get the story on the cover in a quick 45 minute read along with a small slice of the world after book seven without delving too deeply into any of it.

    I also loved the recipes, they’ll probably show up here in a few days.

    I’ll give it a 4.5/5 rounded up.
  14. Only Darkness

    Only Darkness Squib

    Jul 4, 2019
    Well written and humorous, some of the concepts may be a bit far-fetched but this wasn't designed to be a grand political drama. It's a fun, easy read story with some truly exceptional sentences. The characters all work together brilliantly, driving the plot even further and creating a flow that is all too pleasant to follow. The writing is engaging and clear, and a few more chapters would not have gone amiss.
  15. KyleisI

    KyleisI Muggle

    Jul 6, 2019
    I remember reading this months ago and loving it. Harry's characterisation is great, the recipes are a nice touch (went disastrously wrong for me but that's because I can't cook anything without burning it). The political side of it was kind of out there, not something that would happen in real life not even in the wizarding world, but it's fanfic so who cares. the writing's great, feels like reading JK only funnier
  16. carbetocinate

    carbetocinate Muggle

    Jan 7, 2014
    I really like this. It has a very good canon Harry and the interaction between the trio and other characters was really well done.

    I would like to disagree slightly with taure and some of the others. The Harry potter books as written are a story about a failed civil war, a failed rebellion. If we are generous to jk and assume the people who joined voldie had real grievances (though not valid ones). Then whatever the ministry was doing was objectionable otherwise why rebel in the first place.

    Given that reasoning it seems likely that whatever is restored after the war is resolved will closely resemble what came before rather than some new regime. After all it's never in the books made to be a 3 sided conflict.

    I'm not really defending the choice just saying from canon it might be a valid extrapolation. Though this story does kind of contradict me by still having a very backwards government.

    Anyway, far too much waffling:

  17. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Dec 20, 2007
    Blocksberg, Germany
    And we will continue disagree on that one. My arguments haven't changed -- for one, there is the power of the factual. That is, this already happened. Voldemort already was defeated once, and his followers -- and don't tell me people weren't aware of who they were -- walked free, indeed, were influential members of society. What happened once can happen again.

    And, for a more analytical argument: Indeed, civil war is a breakdown of political institutions. What this means is that the latter is the way to regulate and balance competing interests. This works, because all sides agree to subject their actions to this authority. Without it, the only other way to impose authority is to literally do it -- i.e. use physical force. So what happened in DH? Voldemort's coup skewed the political institutions to a degree that the other side -- the Order, Harry, etc. -- no longer accepted it as valid, and no longer accepted its authority. Hence, they mounted an insurrection, using physical force to make their case, and won. Fair enough.

    On the moment of the victory, they had absolute power. That is, they could perfectly well have held war trials on the battlefield, summarily executed enemy combatants, decreed whatever rules and laws they wanted, backed solely by the power of the wands present. The problem with this, though, is that while this power is absolute, it's also extremely narrow. Wherever there isn't a wand of theirs, the power does not reach -- precisely because they are working outside of the authority everyone agreed on.

    "Remaking the institutions in their image" is not inevitable, it's extremely challenging(*). Defeating an enemy on the battlefield is easy, but from this follows nothing. You have to replace people in all tiers of power, and not just the people Voldemort placed there, but also the people that allowed Voldemort's people to act as they wanted in the first place. You have to re-make laws. You have to curb the influence of those that allowed the system to work as it did.

    Basically, at this scale, it's easier to bulldoze the Ministry, the Wizengamot and whatever else exists and start over, because bureaucratic structures have an enormous inertia that is all but impossible to overturn; and of course you also need to waltz into every manor of every conservative pureblood, confiscate assets and strip them of whatever other power they have.

    Obivously, this will not go down quietly. So you extend the battle from Hogwarts to all those other places ... how do you fancy the odds? How many wands can you muster, before you are stretched too thin? I'm not too optimistic.

    However, this is irrelevant, because we know that's not what happened. Kingsley became Minister on the battlefield, and this means instead of using the only real shot they had at remaking the instutions -- from the outside -- they stepped back inside the accepted institutions, which meant they at once had its authority, but also only its authority. The moment Kingsley became Minister, he severely restricted what could be achieved. No martial law. No further battles. Ordinary rule of law -- and suddenly, the enemy has rights. Is it fine to fire people because they hold a certain political view? Is it fine to fire people because they didn't resist treating Muggleborns as sub-wizards? Is it fine to imprison people when you can't tell if they fought out of conviction, out of fear, or out of Imperius? Is it fine to imprison and fine people who you think might have agreed with Voldemort?

    Whichever zealots you put on the court -- and already this will be a struggle, because what is the within-system legitimate reason to replace the existing judges? -- it will only go so far. My best guess is what I remarked in Unatoned: You will get all or most people caught on the battlefield sentenced and imprisoned. You will also get the bigwigs like Umbridge, with the Muggleborn Registration Commission. You won't get someone who is rich, generally agrees with Voldemort, and used his wealth and influence accordingly. And on top of it all, I maintain that the average wizard is not Dumbledore, but more like Fudge -- putting too much stock in blood.

    And that means the ideals, ideas, influence of the Pureblood ideology remain, and that means precisely what this and mine story describe. Degrees are always up for debate, of course. The general trend, IMO not.

    (*)See also the De-Nazification in Germany, that worked so-so if you're very generous, and that was achieved by complete annihilation of the enemy and creating new institutions. Imagine if after the capitulation someone from the Allies had simply appointed themselves Reichskanzler and tried to reform the system from the inside? The very thought is ridiculous.


    As for this story, I like my stories serious. The tone is monumentally offputting to me; and additionally, I didn't care much for this version of Harry. The stated lack of interest and desire to learn everything about the wizarding world is the literal opposite of what I enjoy. It's also not Canon. There, Harry always knew enough not to appear as a retard. If you ramp up the complexity of the world, or of the problems Harry faces, ramp up his knowledge about them as well. Everything else is quite annoying to read.

    So, I didn't get very far, hence no rating. If you like humour, you might think the tone funny, and if you don't mind anti-intellectual!Harry, you might enjoy the story.