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WIP Victoria Potter by Taure - T

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by LinguaManiac, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Headmaster DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Enjoyed this chapter very much. Just caught up on it and the winter break. There’s a real sense of foreboding with Snape and with Neville being involved and Ron with no Harry, then they may really get chucked.

    Victoria’s decision making process with the diary is highly suss. I am wondering if Voldemort or someone confounded her to make excuses for the diary. Or, perhaps, it’s her lust for power being healthily fed. Unclear.

    As always fantastically written and the theory lesson strokes my broom personally, though otherwise it might be a bit heavy.

    As a personal lesson, on writing, I really admired the exposition about the Malfoy home and how it didn’t feel out of place. I almost felt it was going to end with some dialogue between Draco and VP or Narcissa and VP.

    The anomalous draught of Sparta is A mystery box I look forward to seeing opened. I wonder what fortitude it has lent her in particular.

    I was intrigued by the world building of the Malfoys. I felt it was a bit too directly analogous though. The colonial hunting interests and the Victorian land rent style - considering the Goyles and Crabbes are Death Eaters too, part of Voldemort’s inner circle. And the established free-spiritedness of wizarding culture that we see in every other wizarding dwelling. It’s an absolute nitpick, but just thought I’d mention that the usually superlative cultural extrapolation that organically slides over canon in a Taure fic felt a mite more janky to me. I could see the border.

    Nice to be back at Hogwarts. Look forward to speeding into the Diary plot, and the next easter break. Curious to see what the third facet of wizarding culture you present will be in that holiday.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
  2. Donimo

    Donimo Professor

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    It clearly turned her into winter fae. Though I'm a bit confused how Victoria ended up with the diary half way through the Heir plot.
     
  3. DooomCookie

    DooomCookie First Year

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    One thing caught my eye this chapter. After some exposition about charms and souls and such, Vicky has to choose a bird spirit.

    Victoria buried her face in her book, trying desperately to disguise her sniggering. She focused on the drawings. The sparrow… the crow… the greenfinch… they were all far too tame.​

    Tame?! Has Victoria ever met a crow? Those things will ruin you.

    -----

    But just for fun. What bird would you guys pick?

    Indy!Harry would totally choose a phoenix totem. Neville has a kiwi totem.
     
  4. Donimo

    Donimo Professor

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    Indy!Harry would choose something 'unique'. A flying basilisk probably.
     
  5. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    A quick, nimble flyer. A swallow, or one step up, a falcon. Anything bigger is just unwieldy and far too blatant. For an eagle, you might as well pick a peacock, I don't doubt Draco would be fine with either.
     
  6. BeastBoy

    BeastBoy Seventh Year

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    I really appreciate the concept of magic that this story presents, where being a wizard isn't just learning a latin phrase and pairing it with a wand movement.

    You've injected theory and ritual and esoteric-seeming rules into the magical education and it's all really interesting to read about.
     
  7. Shodan

    Shodan First Year

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    That Victoria received the Diary After her visit to the Malfoys is interesting, given that the Heir of Slytherin already appeared. It seems likely that Lucius gave her the Diary- especially because it Tom apparently didn't communicate with anyone before Victoria.

    She met a red-headed girl in the Restricted Section, and I assumed that was Ginny. However, that would mean that she was possessed another way, for example through the Diadem, and that doesn't really fit either- a Diadem is much more noticeable than a diary.

    I'm curious where this is gonna go.
     
  8. Gaius

    Gaius Second Year

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    I liked AP a lot although I agree with others that it jumped the shark with the murder charge. I hadn't read the updates for Victoria Potter in a while, so I reread everything after the latest chapter was posted and have really enjoyed it.

    Taure is one of the primary reasons I found DLP. His magical theory canon document and "best of" fanfiction show he has really thought through the world and it shows in this fic. I also like the characterization of Victoria--she's great at magic, but she's also a girl who needs to learn things in order to grow up.

    I've put some of my thoughts and questions in spoilers bc. long, but I've especially enjoyed the depth of magical theory Taure has incorporated into VP and the breadth of customs, culture, etc. of the magical world represented in the story.

    magical theory
    From the beginning with Victoria's accidental/wandless magic, there are implied two ways of thinking about magic (these aren't the only principles at work but appear rather early): 1) sympathetic/contiguity; 2) symbolic. We see this with Victoria learning that if she puts a feather on an object, the object will levitate. This looks forward to ideas about potion as rituals, but the theory behind it can be read as combinatory (i.e. based on contiguity or sympathetic magic), feather as ingredient + something else has an effect, or as symbolic, feather represents flight so it enables something else to flight.
    We see this at work, too, with the Sympathetic Shoes Amelia Bones mentions in her letter to Susan and most recently in ch. 20 the idea of sympathetic magic and totems. The magical origami crane works in a similar way: 1) can be read as magical blood and breath makes bird fly because they touch and affect the crane; or 2) blood and breath symbolize life and motion and the crane flies as if it's alive. (cf., too, key ingredient : potion :: incantation : spell. both are the primary symbol at work in the potion or spell.)
    I've also enjoyed the nod to the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle that crops up in theory. Flitwick says magic is like a language and discusses Aristotle’s elements and Heraclitus on change. McGonagall doesn't cite Plato but says transfiguration changes things with ideal forms in mind, which recalls the Forms in the Republic.
    I will be excited to see more alchemy, especially since it is a "discovered" art, not invented or constrained by human thought like spells. Also that it seems to work like Presocratic physics is cool too with four physical elements and a unifying substrate. Although Presocratics differed on their cosmogonies, so I'd be interested to see which tack you take.


    magical world
    As I said above, Taure has really broadened the scope of the magical world. The Knight Bus stopping at “The Institute of Oriental Sorcery” is awesome because it adds the idea that there are magical museums, universities, and research institutes, whereas in HP Hogwarts is the only British magical education institution mentioned.
    I, like others above, like the additional magical destinations we see in King's Cross. Platform 7 1/2 train to “Constantinople” brings up some questions (I think I've seen this in another thread too): is the Byzantine Empire still a state in the magical world?
    I like that on the train Victoria encounters the Pureblood myth that Muggles steal magic, which produces Muggleborns. It adds more nuance to the Pureblood position and to wizarding culture. In DH, this idea seems to come ex nihilo as propaganda piece that no one really believes/has heard before.
    The childish scatalogical humor Taure added with the Slytherin common room password potentia rectum facit is great. It adds also an idea of Machtpolitik but isn't explicit, which I think is in the story's favor that the Slytherins aren't so blatantly Machiavellian already at age 11.
    Many other cool bits and bobs. I like the Voldemort chair test and remembered it from when I first read this story.
    Your Restricted Section reads like a Borgesian labyrinth, which is perfect for Hogwarts geography and magic and makes the Restricted Section's restriction make more sense. Victoria being likened to Theseus with the thread is nice because it puts her into this separate, heroic category. She's special, great at magic, but also liable to make mistakes. (Maybe even awful ones like Theseus causing Aegeus' and Hippolytus' deaths.)

    I do have some questions too.
    - so “bc au” would be enough of a reason, i suppose, but why does Victoria’s letter include mention of a visit to a Muggle household, when Harry’s doesn’t?
    - why is there no invisibility cloak? again "bc au" would suffice, but I would imagine the Hallows are surely still a thing since the history of Grindelwald and Dumbledore seems the same as canon.
    - is Pigpimple (=Hog+wart) the Hogwarts profs' Quizarding World team?
    - why are jinxes forbidden knowledge? Victoria and Susan steal a book from the Bones library and learn e.g. Jellylegs, but we see that in canon. are jinxes inherently dark, dangerous, and inappropriate for 12 year olds, yet they pick it up anyway because kids will do things they shouldn't? Dumbledore likewise mentions to Victoria during their poison dates that Quirrell went rather too far into the Dark Arts by discussing jinxes.
    - are Warlocks in Wizengamot elected representatives? Narcissa says Farley is “our Warlock.” How does this system work?

    some writing comments
    - in ch. 2 McGonagall “sniffed.” same word used to characterize Petunia in ch. 1. not sure if that was intentional to make them seem similar in their dislike of something different, but you may want to consider this.
    - cf. ch. 19 “off you pop.” Narcissa and Dumbledore have both used this phrase, maybe other characters as well, but this reads very casual/informal to me for Narcissa, who is always so put-together. Rowling uses the phrase in connection with Dumbledore so it fits his eccentric character, but just another phrase that you may want to think about more consciously.
    - Snape’s task is badass and the way he rationalizes his pedagogy is great: "The prize for second place is failure," said Snape, his eyes boring into the lanky boy. "I will only say this once... there are no points for effort, no commendations and no grades. Nor are there rules, beyond those which I have already described. You succeed, or you do not. So it is in the world beyond these walls, and so, while you are under my tutelage, this is how you will learn.”
    - I liked the lesson Victoria learns at the end of her first year with the Founder’s Oak. Victoria trades gold for bronze and learns to value magical objects more, especially with the Heart of Autumn.
    - Not sure if you meant this but I like the double-meaning of "blind" perhaps at play in Snape's discussion of Clearsight Potion. He says "congratulations you are blind" to Victoria. metaphoric on two levels because 1) blind in this hypothetical of the clear sight potion, and 2) blind bc. ignorant.


    And some responses to earlier comments:
    No one really responded to this thought earlier in the reviews, but as I was reading I thought that the Workshop scenes were great for characterizing both Victoria and Susan. I think you have really gotten down Victoria as a clever magic prodigy but also a young girl.

    What's interesting about Susan's backstory is the fact that her parents are divorced. We don't see divorce much, if at all, in Rowling, so it added another layer of worldbuilding that made the HP world more socially, magically complex.

    In PS 50 points is quite a lot to lose, so it does seem a lot. Perhaps for the Prefect Farley she hasn't seen anyone lose these points from Slytherin since they should be cleverer than to get caught. That's what I thought at least.

    I'm curious too. Hermione was acting erratically a few chapters back, so I thought she may have been possessed by the diary, but now that we know V. is the first person to write to Tom, that seems out. Plus her erratic behavior makes sense from V.'s outside perspective on Hermione brewing Polyjuice and generally being anxious about the Heir of Slytherin.

    I too thought the short redhead in the Restricted Section was Ginny...

    I'm curious if V. will be possessed by the diary at all or if bc. she keeps things primarily to academics, Riddle will not have enough of her "soul" to possess her.
     
  9. Donimo

    Donimo Professor

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    I'm pretty sure it's just Dumbledore curb stomping the quiz.
     
  10. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Victoria Potter has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 22
    Words: 158,314
    Updated: 2020-02-16 20:08:41 UTC
    Published: 2017-11-04 19:13:13 UTC
    Previously updated: about 2 months ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
  11. daniel98

    daniel98 Muggle

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    I always love your interpretation of magic and how it works, great to see any more detail added as always. Now back to the wait for the next chapter.
     
  12. Garden

    Garden Chief Warlock

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    Fun chapter. Magic worldbuilding is wonderful. Tom is perfectly written.
     
  13. DooomCookie

    DooomCookie First Year

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    A few temperature-related hints since taking the Draught of Sparta.

    Last chapter, when Vicky followed Dobby into the forest (in just her dressing-gown) she was freezing and anxious to head back in. But since imbibing the modified Draught, the cold hasn't bothered her. In Ch 21, the dungeons are 'surprisingly warm ... even though she wasn't wearing her charm bracelet'. And this chapter, while all the other girls are in blankets, Victoria is 'warm enough in her night robe'.

    ...if this turns into a Frozen crossover, I'm going to be so mad.
     
  14. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    @Doomchicken

    To me it sounds like a way of showing that Victoria's Draught was superior (and thus bestowed superior benefits), given the effort Victoria put into collecting the key ingredient.

    Unless that was the subtext of your post and I missed the obvious.
     
  15. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Headmaster DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I think it’s both. She used a much finer ingredient in otherwise the same potion, in a sense. If I recall correctly, Snape directly states directly though that the heart of autumn will have have different effects to a heart of a storm. I think we’re seeing here that it’s fortitude to cold as well or in a different way to fortitude in a more physical sense.
     
  16. Erotic Adventures of S

    Erotic Adventures of S Denarii Host

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    But there must be a down side or he wouldn’t have warned her, maybe she will be listless in summer and op in winter?
     
  17. Donimo

    Donimo Professor

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    Maybe she'll lose control and accidentally freeze her sister's heart?
     
  18. daniel98

    daniel98 Muggle

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    As hilarious as this suddenly turning into a full-fledged frozen crossover would be, I imagine the "down side" would also relate to the whole Spartan-lifestyle thing, just like her resistance to cold comes from it. Maybe she becomes more emotionally stoic and cold, or maybe she develops a sudden lust for buggering young boys like the Spartans did.
     
  19. Villanelle

    Villanelle Seventh Year

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    At Chapter 18 so far. Easy 5/5.

    Feels a lot like HP did, only a touch darker and with the lore of all seven books (and then some!) peppered in. There are distinct changes like Hagrid and Victoria, or Lockhart, but it all feels so familiar, in the best possible way, the staff in particular.

    Highlights include the quiz with the Bones, Victoria's little magical epiphanies, the chair, the play and the Restricted Section.

    While the stakes feel low sometimes, the slice of life stuff is fun and I imagine things will pick up eventually. I don't need Alexandra Quick levels of drama and disaster to be entertained. As it is, I get sucked into the gossip with the Slytherin girls.

    Also, Pansy is such a Blair.

    edit:

    In a lot of ways, this story is everything I would've expected out of a Taure fic after lurking around here and /r/hpff and reading random Taure musings about the HP world.
     
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