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Selfish, perfectly neutral MC

Discussion in 'Story Search' started by pawelx321, Apr 18, 2022.

  1. pawelx321

    pawelx321 Squib

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    It seems that every main character has to take a side during the Second Wizarding War - even though they're students, teenagers - not adults! I'd like to read a story about a guy who is driven, selfish, has a goal, but refuses to participate in war.

    I want to read about someone perfectly centered - not a light hero, with a bleeding heart, unable to kill terrorists. Not a sadistic psychopath, torturing and killing for fun, spouting Darwinistic nonsense. A selfish person, possessed by a dream, scoffing at both sides.

    Someone could argue that I'm simply asking for a gray MC, but it isn't that. Most of the gray stories are about tsundere heroes - they loudly proclaim neutrality and then either way help Potter.

    Requirements:
    • Male MC. Lesser possibility of angst. It's easier for me to identify with a guy.
    • No slash. Slash stories are usually angsty and once again, it's hard for me to feel fluff moments if it's two guys.
    • Great ambition. It's easy to remain neutral if you're a non-entity. So something more than becoming an Auror or a healer. Maybe creating a Philosopher's Stone? Colonizing Mars? Conquering the Wizarding Britain? Creating a great corporation with magitech?
    • Selfish. If I have to read once again about saving Hermione from a troll because she's a kid or helping Potter with the stone because it's so dangerous and he's a kid or... I don't care. It's not my problem. Let's get back to studying alchemy.
    • True neutral. As mentioned above, no breaks in the schedule to save people or canon. Also, no Darwinism, tortures for fun. He should ignore the war.
    • He should stay in Hogwarts. No homeschooling. No emigrating. It's easy to ignore the war if you're leaving in Australia.
    • Potter era. School years. The whole point is to show actively avoiding and ignoring sides.
    • No angst. Some light, fluffy romance would be nice to counter-balance the cynism/boredom of the MC.
    • Swift story. Many recommended 'masterpieces' are sort of classical novels - an attempt to remove magic from the magic story. Description of every building, alley, piece of cloth... Slow, day-by-day descriptions of hardships and hard work... I want to wake up reading this story, not fall to sleep.
    I don't have perfect examples, but here is a story that mostly fits the bill:
    1. The Bigger Picture by cloud9stories.
      SI OC 2 years older than Harry. He's focused on learning, alchemy, rituals... Completely ignored the troll situation. Eventually becomes an Odin knock-off. His contacts with the Golden Trio are limited, for some time it seems like he could join either Potter or Voldemort. He emigrates, but only after graduating and only after showing for some time his neutrality.

      Sadly, it's not perfect - eventually, he opposes Voldemort. Luckily, not because of a bleeding heart, but because his girl was hurt by Death Eaters - otherwise he would ignore the whole war. Another positive point - it happens years into the war.

      Despite these problems, for tens of thousands of words, it is fanfic about a driven, selfish man that doesn't care about the war.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2022
  2. MuggsieToll

    MuggsieToll Seventh Year

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    For Love of Magic by Noodlehammer hits most of what you are looking for, even if it is Harry who is this truly neutral MC.

    He does end up fighting Voldemort, but only because LV won't leave him alone.

    Harry eventually despises religion (mostly Islam because the writer really let his true colours fly in those last couple chapters) and the modern world that he wipes out all technology and fills every biosphere with deadly magical creatures to create a magical Utopia.

    It got banhammered from FFN for the religion issues I mentioned in the spoilers, but it's still available on The Wayback Machine.
     
  3. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Your question is flawed, OP.

    Refusing to participate in a nation-wide conflict simply ensures that he in no way affects the outcome, but will still absolutely be affected by said outcome.

    Scoffing is fun and all, but both of these sides have a lot of people with them and have a belief system behind it. Agree or disagree with it, they stand for something. And one of these sides is going to win eventually. Your MC scoffing at both of these sides is just confirming that no matter who wins, he's going to hate the government that arises from the winner.

    Generally, staying completely uninvolved in the local political scene, war, and future of your country isn't a great way to show someone as being goal-oriented.

    Unless he boards a plane and fucks off to the other side of the world about it.
     
  4. Iztiak

    Iztiak Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    It's also a privilege that's usually only of use to the sociopath.

    "Sure, they want to enact genocide, but *I* am not in the targeted demographic so it's not my problem" doesn't stand out as a particularly likeable character trait.
     
  5. pawelx321

    pawelx321 Squib

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    Great story, I've already read it and considered giving it as an example, but I decided that as a rule it's hard for Harry to be neutral in this war. Anyway, this is almost everything that I'm looking for - ambitions, plots... Dying in some war as cannon fodder isn't part of the MC's plan.

    In every country, before every election, we're bombarded with this ultimatum. "The world is ending, it's the last moment to stop THEM. Vote for conservatives, if you don't want to wake up in a socialist state, where the majority has no rights. OR Vote for liberals if you don't want to wake up in a country ruled by corporations, where minorities have no rights." Then elections pass, it's still the same country, with one or two laws changed for the worse. After a year or two I come to hate the winners, the corrupted government regardless of whom it is.

    It's the same for statistical pureblood and even half-blood in HP, a son of some bureaucrat. Some things will change for worse, but it's not a reason to attempt suicide by a veteran warlock. Besides, am I the only one disgusted by the idea of child soldiers? 16-17 years old shouldn't be participating in a war. A school shouldn't be a battlefield. And if the whole world has gone insane, at least the MC, supposedly sly, cynical, and clever, should make the correct call and stay silent.

    I don't know... I would say that it's an indicator of extremely strong will - rejecting the herd instinct, following your dreams despite the world trying to distract you.

    Too Young to Die by thebombhasbeenplanted. Take this story for example. Harry is trying to resurrect his sister. No one seems to care about him, about her death. If he tried to save everyone, and help his brother, would he achieve the impossible? Harry is clearly dark, so it doesn't perfectly fit my request, but I mentioned it to prove a point - one can be driven in some areas and completely ignore others.

    Hmm... That's precisely why I wanted the MC selfish.

     
  6. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Again, that just puts your guy at the mercy of whoever is talking at the time, and whoever is left standing.

    By your own moronic metric, the vast majority of magical Britain were 'sly, cynical and clever' because they also 'made the correct call', stayed silent and did literally nothing. Inaction in a time of crisis is not a sign of a strong character.

    And for the love of god, stop drawing parallels to modern day elections. First of all, yes, people should vote and do so after becoming informed because it's their damn country and future, but an election is vastly different from an armed insurrection and takeover in which dozens of people are murdered on the weekly and the remainder are heavily oppressed.

    What are you even arguing for?

    You want a character who's a selfish, sociopathic dickhead. Fine. Is your character a pureblood? No? Then what does he think his prospect of just 'studying alchemy' are going to be once Voldemort is fully in power and enacts his policies? And what will he do when "It's not my problem" doesn't fly with the Snatchers or Death Eaters at the door of his workshop?
     
  7. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem Auror

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    There's also the fact that an ambitious and powerful young wizard is likely to cross Voldemort's radar, and he doesn't take no for an answer, even if Harry isn't the BWL.

    Not that I'm against the concept. Too many potential stories get hindered by the fact that Voldemort is out there. But you can just have him fail resurrection. Anyway, I was about to recommend a bunch of stories, but then I noticed your "no angst" criterion. You'd find that most selfish!Harrys are driven by angst about Dumbledore/the Order/Ministry/student body/wizarding sheep.
     
  8. Sunwytch

    Sunwytch Squib

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    Your request is essentialy a oxymoron. You want him to be selfish and greatly ambitious but you want him to ignore the wizarding war? That doesn't make sense. If he's a mudblood he'll have to join Harry's side and try to defeat Voldemort or leave great britain, otherwise he'll get ganked by a couple of death eater punks. And if he's a pureblood, Voldemort would want him for his army like the others said.

    Here's some obessed, selfish, ambitious Harry fanfics.

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5353809/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Boy-Who-Lived
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2973799/1/Equal-and-Opposite
    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5866937/1/Control
     
  9. Drachna

    Drachna Professor

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    That's certainly a blast from the past, I loved that fic when I read it, but I'm fairly certain that it's in DLP's trashcan.

    I do get what a lot of people in the thread are saying, but in canon the 'Second Wizarding War' or whatever you want to call it wasn't split in a fight between the goody two-shoes order and the evil Death Eaters. Those were both para-military organisations with political backing for sure, but the majority of wizards and witches weren't directly involved in the conflict. If your OC is a pureblood with no Muggleborn or Half-Blood friends, and they really don't feel strongly either way, then they'll just wake up one day to find that there's a new minister (Pius Thicknese) who has some pretty radical views and is passing some pretty radical laws, who'll be replaced within the year after the Battle of Hogwarts. Some of their friends might die, or be arrested sure, and there might be some spicy political debates with the family, but it would be easy for someone to barely be affected by the whole thing, especially if they didn't have a news paper subscription, had finished school, and didn't have very many friends.

    A lot of witches and wizards wouldn't have had the opportunity to fight for either side of the war effort too.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2022
  10. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    @Drachna you're underestimating the effects that Voldemort's ministry had in Britain. We saw a lot of it in the 7th book, and it was very dramatic. The population was actively being oppressed, and purebloods were not necessarily free of scrutiny or demands.

    One can only assume that, left in power for longer, the changes and oppression would get even worse for everyone, even those directly part of his regime. And for those not actively part of the regime, meaning the average citizen, changes would far more dire than just a new name as minister.
     
  11. Drachna

    Drachna Professor

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    Sure, but purebloods not directly involved in politics or working for the ministry would have been insulated from the majority of it initially... and Voldemort's puppet government lasted a year at most, so all I'm saying is that a lot of wizards and witches probably weren't effected all that much, given how self sufficient they are.
     
  12. pawelx321

    pawelx321 Squib

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    Exactly the message I was trying to deliver. Is it right, wrong, logical, wise? That wasn't my question. I asked for stories where one of the main points would be to ignore the war. Geeky, pureblood Raveclaw without friends, an orphan trying to create a philosopher stone, or calculating a ritual allowing to travel to a different world, or creating a super pocket dimension, or trying to make a spaceship and create a colony on Mars...

    Think like that loner:
    'I'm 16 years old, too young to be a soldier, too young to die. In 2 months the ritual will be ready, I will travel to Sailor's Moon world. Why should I die for a world that I will never see again?'

    Is he making an error? Quite possibly! That exactly is the conflict that would drive such a story. Maybe Dumbledore would leak this info to Death Eaters, trying to pressure him, maybe Draco would see something in an empty classroom.

    Or maybe he is creating a philosopher stone? In a crackfic, he hears that there is a war but as a seemingly average pureblood student he's ignored by both sides. The punchline of the story could be that he created it, unaware of the final battle - he heard some explosions but didn't leave his classroom, focused on the finishing touches.

    I never asked if his behavior would be moral. I am aware that if anyone as much as suspected that he is a slightly capable wizard, my hypothetical Ravenclaw wouldn't be left alone. I simply wanted to read a story where the protagonist isn't automatically sorted to one side, where he is reacting like a cowardly teenager nerd. Or a sociopath focused on his goal.

    Frankly, I was surprised by this vehement criticism - I only asked for a coward or an indifferent neutral. I've seen many threads where people were asking for brutal or dark or evil MCs. They received a good dozen of titles without judgment. I was half tempted to create a new account and ask for stories where the MC is ritually eating babies to see if the reaction would be this strong, but... I am too lazy ;D
     
  13. Drachna

    Drachna Professor

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    Lol. I don't have any baby eating Harry fics, but the Downward Spiral series by BolshevikMuppet99 comes pretty close at points.

    Anyway, here are some recommendations.

    https://archiveofourown.org/works/22022296/chapters/52554820

    https://m.fanfiction.net/s/7402590/1/

    https://m.fanfiction.net/s/2846963/1/

    https://m.fanfiction.net/s/7539141/1/

    https://m.fanfiction.net/s/10677106/1/

    You've probably read a lot of these as some of them are quite popular, and most of them are Harry centric... but what are you gonna do. I think that they fit most of your other criteria to some degree.
     
  14. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    The criticism is because the premise you set is dumb and would not at all realistically work out the way you say it would.
     
  15. Drachna

    Drachna Professor

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    The only problem with the premise is that they're looking for a non Harry centric fic. Otherwise I think that a truly neutral character would be cool to read about.
     
  16. pawelx321

    pawelx321 Squib

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    Thanks for your answer.
    I've read Seventh Horcrux by Emerald Ashes years ago, I can only remember that it was about possessed Harry and completely, ridiculously funny. Voldemort pretending to be a good boy.

    Blood Crest by Cauchy - yes, probably the perfect hit! Precisely, almost scientifically described necromancy and dark magic. Harry playing for both sides. I've observed it for a long time, but eventually couldn't handle the tension. As a big sap for romance, it was also a letdown that the author is asexual and refuses to focus on fluffy things (ok, it wouldn't fit this fic anyway). But, one of the best stories with dark magic, different than all those Slytherin Harrys.

    Incorruptible: The Dementor's Stigma by The Matt Silver - I've seen another story by this author (12 signs - one of my favorites), so I'll surely try it when I'll find some free time. Though, from the description, it's post-Hogwarts?

    The Diggory Papers by Machiavelli Jr, and Deprived by The Crimson Lord are unknowns, but I'll surely check them.

    Like Harry being a lord of ten ancient houses? Or being engaged to three girls? Or having magic, come to think about it? It doesn't have to work, the important part is if somebody tried to write this concept.

    As Cauchy in Blood Crest showed, it is possible even for Harry to at least try to be neutral. So it isn't a must for the MC to not be Harry. It's simply... any other person could try to be neutral without unnecessary drama, Harry is too public. But if you have any good examples, please, be my guest ;)
     
  17. Iztiak

    Iztiak Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    I think that you have a totally fair point here( Almost, not the “having magic” part.)

    (You know perfectly well that’s not the problem lol - Unrealistic narratives/character motivations do not require the same type of suspension of disbelief that the physical unrealism(?) of a fantasy story does.)

    But yes, fair point on the first two - I just think you should note that you’d probably have gotten a similar reaction if you asked for either of those two story concepts.

    Many people don’t generally like those kind of stories & the personal bias/ incredulity can’t help but leak out.
     
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