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Traitor AU

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by LucyInTheSkye, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Third Year

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    In the first wizarding war, we have four best friends who, after Hogwarts, end up working full time for the Order rather than getting normal jobs and who are all prepared to die for a greater cause. They know each other inside and out and have gone to huge lengths to help each other out before. Two years pass, one of them gets married and has a kid, the stakes get higher. Around the birth of the child, they begin to suspect that someone close to them has turned traitor and is passing on information about the Order to Voldemort.

    The one whose childhood was ruined by becoming a werewolf begins to suspect the one who was raised in the fanatically racist household and vice versa. The leader of the four refuses to suspect anyone, stating they're all his friends. The fourth one, the weakest link who would be nothing without his best friends, is successfully orchestrating the fallout behind the scenes and nobody suspects him.



    So, I was thinking about this same thing happening in the second war, with Harry and his friends. To make it more interesting, let's take not just Harry, Ron and Hermione, but also Ginny, Luna and Neville as our group.

    One of these six people turn traitor at some point in canon and begins passing on information either to a Death Eater or directly to Voldemort. Who is it? When did it start happening and why? How successful a traitor are they, i.e. how much does canon change? At what point do the others begin to suspect?



    Take for instance Neville. During the fight in the MoM in fifth year, he gets cornered by Bellatrix and is put under the Imperius Curse or maybe just threatened and frightened into cooperation. She will torture the rest of his family and friends into insanity etc etc. So, he begins passing on little bits of information about Harry. He is disappointed when the DA no longer continues, and they kidnap his uncle Algie to put pressure on him. His grandma Augusta, always so critical of him, only sees the same, useless grandson she's always had and doesn't suspect anything. But then, in his seventh year he becomes very useful indeed. He successfully restarts the DA with Ginny and Luna, then makes sure all members are apprehended one by one or have to flee, even gives the vital information that means the Death Eaters get to Luna.

    Indirectly, the information he passes causes several fallouts between Harry and Ron, who begin to suspect each other, but they are saved when Ginny grows suspicious about why Neville is asking her about the safe house she is living in.

    In the final battle, Neville's allegiances are exposed to everyone and he, in a fit of remorse, ends up using the sword of Gryffindor to not just kill Nagini but also himself. The end.

    How would you, using the same premise, write a traitor AU?
     
  2. Othalan

    Othalan Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    FYI, this probably belongs in the Fanfic Discussion section or the Plot Bunny Thread, not in General Discussion.

    But to answer the question of how I would do it?

    It depends. If I was trying to stick to a theme of paralleling the Marauders, I think Ron is the most likely weak link. Fanon often casts Ron as "the poor-man's Sirius Black", but that's never felt right to me. Sirius' most defining personality trait is, above all else, dog-like loyalty (which his character takes to new heights of literalism). Aside from that bizarre interlude in HBP, Hermione of all people actually fits the Sirius-mold of the impulsively-arrogant-but-unshakably-loyal best friend quite well, despite how differently she expresses those character traits from Sirius. Ron? Not so much.

    Neville seems like the obvious pick for a next-gen Pettigrew, but superficial similarities aside, that doesn't really fit his personality. Aside from the general lack of studiousness, his quiet perseverance and deep-seated self esteem issues are more like Remus than any of the others, imo. Ron's not a bad guy, despite what bashing fics would have you think, but I do think he is the closest Pettigrew analog in Harry's circle (the quasi-incompetent sidekick that constantly feels overshadowed by and condescended to by his friends and family).

    If I wasn't trying to parallel the marauders, but was going for shock-value instead, I would go with Luna or Hermione as the traitor. Not sure exactly what the motive would be, but I think they would be the most surprising betrayers of the options you listed. The Imperius Curse is out, though. The whole point of a "Traitor" fic would be to explore what would drive a true friend to willingly betray Harry, and how the Traitor, Harry, and company deal with the situation (both before and after the identity of the traitor is revealed). Having one of them Imperiused into doing it defeats the purpose of the story, and strips it of, like, 99% of its tension and drama.

    Otherwise, for motive there's the age-old stand-by of the bad guys threatening to torture/kill their loved ones to coerce them into turning spy, but that trope is older than dirt and so tired it belongs in a fucking Ambien commercial. Frankly, however, I have no idea how else to get those characters to switch sides voluntarily. It's a bit of a conundrum that would take more thought and imagination to resolve than I'm willing to throw at it right this second.

    Though I suppose if you really want to surprise the readers, Harry himself would be the traitor, though there's not a lot of ways to have that make sense. Maybe the horcrux in his head takes over some nights when he goes to sleep?*** Or maybe it's some good old time-travel shenanigans where a future Harry has come back in time and is helping the other side for enigmatic reasons of his own? Meh, that also kind of defeats the purpose though, since it would turn it into more of an ominous mystery fic than the sort of gut-wrenching interpersonal drama of a more mundane betrayal.

    *Shrug* That's all I've got for now.

    *** - That does strike me as an interesting plot device for another type of story though. What if Dursley abuse/neglect came about because the horcrux occasionally takes over kid!Harry's body and fucks with Vernon and Petunia in spooky and malicious ways? Along with enough of the other muggles in the area that no one questions Harry's living situation, or the Dursley's stories about what a nasty hoodlum their nephew is? There's a few holes in that scenario, like why the horcrux doesn't act more ambitiously, but there are probably ways around that issue. Anyway, it could be a fun idea to play with.
     
  3. Acquiescing Avian

    Acquiescing Avian Second Year

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    I'm pretty sure this already exists, and was (is?) quite popular.

    Ron the Death Eater, which often goes hand-in-hand with Good™ Draco Malfoy who suddenly replaces Ron in the Trio, and seamlessly fits in with Harry and Hermione.

    However, the betrayal doesn't come off as a major shock. In these fics, Ron is stuck in his ridiculously whiney, spiteful state from that one chapter in GoF, or most fanfic interpretations of his character.

    Neville and Ginny could theoretically be coerced into doing it, but their families lives' being threatened isn't a very good reason. Not only is it an overused trope, their family members are already heavily invested in the war. The Weasleys are renowned Blood Traitors, and Frank and Alice Longbottom were some of the best Aurors during the First War. Granny Longbottom won't exactly let that go.

    Hermione would probably be the best for this role. As long as the reason isn't something as shitty as 'I fell in love with Draco' or 'My name is actually Hermione Malfoy', there is something about her character which suggests that she could be a good spy. She has a vicious streak in canon, regularly kept secrets and has a certain level of competence which being a spy requires. Or maybe its just my intense dislike for Fanon Hermione which wants to see her not be completely perfect for once.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  4. Niez

    Niez Slug Club Member

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    Yes, Hermione the muggleborn would be the perfect traitor if it only made any sense at all.

    For a serious answer: The premise of a traitor fic in the way op describes doesn't work imo because Harry is never seen as a threat by Voldemort, only a nuisance, a belief justified when Dumbledore dies and Voldemort takes over almost instantly. Why spend the effort turning one of Harry's friends into a spy? The only thing of worth they could offer Voldemort is his location but Harry is already off into the wilderness by the start of the seventh year with only Ron and Hermione as his company (and if either of those two is captured its already game, cos Voldemort knows Harry would willingly walk to his trap for a chance to save his friends). Neville turning traitor not only does not work canonically, given his established character (remember death eaters tortured his parents to insanity), it also doesnt make any sense. He's not part of the Order, and even if he were Voldemort already has a spy in it, as far as he's aware. Infiltrating the DA? What for? If Voldemort even gave a thought to it, which I doubt, he probably inmediatly dismissed it as a school club (which it was) and left it at that.

    TLDR; Traitor fics dont work within the confines of Canon because none of Harry's friends have anything Voldemort wants, so he wouldn't see the point in turning them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  5. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Third Year

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    Oh dear I feel silly for creating this thread now. I mostly read marauders era, but I should have realized it's a well-trod theme for Harry's gen fics. Thanks for all the long replies though, they all had interesting thoughts and points!

    To clarify one thing, I didn't mean that any of these people as they are in canon would be likely to turn traitor, rather I was looking at it the other way round, a bit like a whodunnit. One of these most unlikely people has turned traitor so who is it and what could their reason be, with a further premise to not stray too far from canon characterization + events. Probably still too vague, but that was the badly-phrased idea.

    I can't see a way to move this thread to one of the places suggested, but maybe let me know if it's something I should/can do?
     
  6. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Voldemort promises Luna proof of the existence of the Crumple Horned Snorcack if she turns traitor.

    Ron's an easy one to turn, with his jealousy problem.

    Ginny...if I was going to write her turning traitor I'd probably say that she gets in an argument, does something she doesn't mean to as a result (heat of anger sort of thing), and then ends up getting dragged down deeper and deeper until she can't get out.

    Neville, I don't know... his major flaw is lack of faith in himself. To have him turn traitor I think you'd need to go back earlier. In book 1 you could have Quirrelmort take him under his wing and lay some ground work? Alternatively have the diary spend some time in his possession in book 2?

    Hermione turning traitor would be like a Jew joining the Nazi party. Unlikely. But if I was having to find a way to write it, maybe have her discover that she really is related to the Dagworth-Grangers? Her grandad was a Granger squib or something like that. She finds out at a time when she's feeling lonely and isolated. Perhaps book 3 when everyone is ignoring her because of going to McGonagall about the firebolt? If you say the Dagworth-Grangers are a darker family, then you could have them build a bit of a relationship and then thats a reason for her to turn traitor. Its more than a bit of a stretch but the only way I can think of it working.

    As for Harry, very unlikely of him to turn. But maybe the promise of bringing his parents back could work? He'd only have to be a tiny amount more gullible for that to be the thing that did it. Alternatively maybe he's a kinky freak and falls in love with Voldemort the minute he steps out of the cauldron in the grave yard, and offers to do anything if he can be Voldemort's sex slave? Its a ridiculous scenario, but its as likely as any other way you get Harry to turn traitor and join Voldemort without dramatically changing canon by having Voldemort not be the bad guy.
     
  7. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    Or a witch joining up with Grindlewald to work towards a future where she can marry her Muggle lover...

    Anyway, I actually think that Neville is probably the easiest to make this work with; Ron has possibilities, but unless you're really changing things up, he probably has too many family members around to spot something shifty. Neville though...Neville grows up with his grandma and his uncle Algie. And Algie puts him in potentially mortal danger on a not in-frequent basis, with his grandma's implicit approval; his grandma is constantly telling him he's not half the wizard his father was, never happy with his choices and (lack of) talents, and even when he has 'proven' himself, he ends up with a second-hand wand that never quite works for him. In canon, Neville is never exactly happy about this, but it's mostly treated as a bit of a joke - what if it wasn't?

    Neville arrives at Hogwarts lonely, traumatised, belittled, lacking in self-worth...and delighted, because he's finally going to be around not just wizards and witches his own age, but wizards who aren't related to him - not least the great Albus Dumbledore, who would surely be horrified to learn about how one of his students is being treated by his family. On the train, a stroke of luck - he meets Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived! Surely his life is about to change for the better?

    Except Harry... kind of doesn't care. He's not unpleasant, and not even really unsympathetic; he stands up to Draco, for example. But he never expresses any sort of interest or concern over Neville's upbringing, even though from things Neville overhears, his own family aren't much better. The Boy Who Lived doesn't need hapless, weak Neville, not when he's got the brilliant Hermione Granger and the fun-loving Ron Weasley. And as for Dumbledore, well. Neville's hopes for intervention on that front were dashed the moment he realised that Dumbledore was happy to employ Professor Severus Snape, about whom the best that can be said, as far as Neville is concerned, is that he hasn't actually tried to physically hurt him yet.

    And so Neville changes. Becomes bitter, resentful. Maybe Voldemort had a point, he thinks, if the 'good' version of the Wizarding world is one that is perfectly OK with children being treated as he has, if they praise Albus Dumbledore, a wizard who is criminally neglectful of all but a select few, and allows abusive staff to roam the halls of his castle.

    Maybe Quirrellmort picks up on this, maybe he doesn't. Maybe Neville picks up on something being wrong with Ginny in his second year, one outsider to another...but when he reaches out to her, he gets tangled up with the diary, and starts 'talking' to Tom, maybe not to the same extent, just the odd conversation here and there, just enough to plant seeds. Maybe 'Moody' takes him under his wing, encourages those seeds to grow, points out to him that it wasn't Voldemort who targeted his parents, but the Lestranges, after Voldemort's 'death'. Maybe a meeting is arranged, because Crouch Jr can recognise an opportunity when he sees one, and so can Voldemort. Even if the ritual goes to plan and Harry is killed, that still leaves his friends, and the Order, and given his heritage, it's not unlikely that Neville will wind up being recruited - Dumbledore works with squibs and half-breeds, so Neville's apparent lack of talent shouldn't rule him out, to Voldemort's way of thinking.

    The Lestranges and Crouch Jr himself present problems, of course, but not insurmountable ones - "Of course I didn't know what they did to your parents, Neville, I was incorporeal at the time - by all means, take your revenge. You deserve it. Strike them down, let the hate flow through you..." Maybe Neville manages it, maybe he doesn't - but Crouch Jr, at least, has a proven talent for disguise and infiltration, so it's no great loss if he 'dies'. Bellatrix...well, "you're of course welcome to keep trying to kill her, Neville; I'd do it myself, but I really feel this is something you need to do yourself."

    Inevitably, probably by the end of fifth year, Neville will probably have realised that he's made the wrong choices, but he's got himself to deep by then. His gran, and uncle, will surely never forgive him, they barely tolerated him as it was. And Harry's beloved godfather is dead, and Dumbledore has a curious injury...


    Or, I dunno. Voldemort promises to liberate all house-elves in his new regime or something.
     
  8. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Much as there are many things about that film that I defend, because I enjoyed it, that is not one of them. That was one of the more ridiculous parts of it I felt, although she was supposed to be a bit of an idiot so it makes sense that she'd be gullible enough to think it was a good idea.
     
  9. darklordmike

    darklordmike Headmaster

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    This premise probably doesn't work if you stick close to the canon universe, but who says you have to do that? Go AU. Make sure the characters keep their canon personalities, but subtly alter the history of the first war, or make wizarding politics more complicated. In canon, the Death Eaters are basically Nazis and their whole platform is indefensible. What if the issues are more complex than 'hey, let's murder all the muggleborns and rule through violence and fear?'

    I don't have time to come up with detailed scenarios, but one might involve a real attempt by Dumbledore and his faction to dilute bloodlines and eradicate the very notion of purebloods. Or maybe muggleborns represent a true existential threat to the wizarding world and Voldemort's original idea was total separation. It turned into a bloodbath only after his ideas were rejected politically.

    Maybe magic itself is dying because of the encroachment of muggles, and drastic measures are required. Voldemort may be just as evil as his canon self, but he's the only one willing to do something about it. The characters might have to choose between saving Harry and saving the magical world. As long as the issue isn't black and white and could divide the sympathies of Harry's friends or their families, you've got a scenario that could result in betrayal.

    My two cents.
     
  10. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    A common way to do that I've seen over the years is that muggleborns/muggle lovers really are destroying wizarding culture. That wizards had their own holidays and traditions, and that to make the muggleborns more comfortable at Hogwarts those have all been banned and replaced with the muggle version. There's no way for people new to the wizarding world to learn about the old wizarding culture, so it remains isolated into certain families, and they see it as their personal history and culture being attacked. It doesn't excuse genocide, but it certainly makes it more understandable where the movement that ended in genocide might have sprung up from and how they gained some popular support.
     
  11. Oruma

    Oruma Order Member

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    Let's see.

    "I'm tired of old men making my life difficult, Professor. Because I want you and your Order and him and his Death Eaters out of my life. And it worked, didn't it? You all fight and inflict heavy casualties on each other. I save those that are useful, whenever I can. And they become my loyal followers. And now you and Voldemort will clash in a titanic struggle - one for the history books, I'm sure - and die.

    And I will be free.

    And don't worry: I will fix the world. My way.

    Surely you must understand?

    It is for the Greater Good."

    "He gave my parents back to me, Harry. Alive, awake, whole again. You - surely you must know what that, what they meant to me, Harry? Would you not have done the same in a heartbeat?"

    "I admire you, Harry. Your courage, your character. But my heart and soul have belonged to Tom since I was 11 years old. Of course I would choose him over you, there is no contest."
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  12. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    "He touched in places you never could Harry, surely you understand?"
     
  13. AlexIY

    AlexIY Banned

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    I like the idea of Ron being the traitor, with him getting caught up in the "Pureblood" ideology and wanting to be different from his brother's/those that he sees as overshadowing him. I imagine it isn't as simple as "Ron is held at wand point and reluctantly goes along until he eventually believes the lies he's woven around himself", I think Ron is more likely to go over willingly and seek out Voldemort.

    Perhaps the summer after the Graveyard? With his parents being slightly absent with all the Order stuff going on he slinks away to Knockturn Alley to meet someone. He begins to form connections and gains Voldemort's trust by feeding him information. He is against Harry making the DA, and Harry agrees. By the time its the middle of the year, he's acting moodier and angrier, Voldemort gave him Draco's mission from the sixth year.

    Harry attempts to comfort his friend, Ron is only made angrier by this because he is actively feeling guilt for his decisions. Hermione attempts to bridge the gap and they have a major fight. Hermione condescends to him as usual and he gets angry because his inferiority complex flairs, he knows he's a better wizard and he'll show her. Harry walks into a destroyed common room, sees Hermione on the floor cursed (let's just say bleeding), Ron is escaping.

    He's intercepted by Harry, they duel and Harry is actually keeping up fairly well with Ron and at some point begins overwhelming him. Ron in a display of idiocy attempts to apparate out of Hogwarts. Should've read Hogwarts a History, Ron, he splinches himself horribly and ends up in Saint Mungos for the remainder of his pitiful lifespan.
     
  14. aAlouda

    aAlouda Groundskeeper

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    Taure already wrote one where Harry becomes a Traitor.

    But overall I think Luna would be a good canidate for a Traitor, simply because of the nature of her friendship to the others. The thing is, the others don't respect Luna, they like her, but when she brings up one of those crazy conspiracy theories she sincerly believes in, they actively have to hold back laughing at her.

    Think about it, her only friends and they have to hold back not to humiliate her. And they barely ever hang out with her just for her company, we know that Luna strongly missed the DA because 'It was like having friend', and when Harry called she was one of the first to respond. Or look at what how she decorated her Room.
    I think it's pretty how much more she values her friendship with them, then they do with her, now imagine a Death Eater/blood purist capitalizing on it, making her see how much more she gives to them compared to how much she matters to them and making her feel like she can get a real sense of belonging by joining up with them, you know the standarts cult/terrorist thing where they target the vulnerable and lonely. Basically what Snape fans pretend is the reason he joined.