harry potter's story

  • Liking a character and acknowledging their faults and the bad things they've ever said or done: 👍 ✅ 👌
  • Liking a character and not being able to handle different opinions about them and not acknowledging any of the negative things they've said or done: ❌ 👎 🤢

part of me hopes adult harry james potter is knowingly currently apparating here and there and everywhere without a proper apparition license because he never actually got one and no one at the ministry wants to be That Asshole™ that brings it to his attention

So imagine after the war, Draco’s friends are thinking okay, Draco was only obsessed with Harry Potter because they were arch enemies but everything will go back to normal now. And then eighth year starts and nothing changes?

Draco is still staring at Harry Potter over the other side of the Great Hall, at breakfast, at lunch and at dinner. He still talks about how the great Harry Potter gets this or the boy who lived gets that. And the Slytherin are like ??? Why are you still obsessed with Harry? And Draco’s like ??? I’m not. We’re enemies remember? And his friends have to tell him no not anymore. You’re on the same side.

So Draco’s very confused for a while, not sure how he should be acting. And then he realises, even though he no longer hates Potter’s guts, he still wants to stare at him every meal. He still wants to find excuses to talk about him to his friends. He still wants to make snarky comments to Potter every class…but only because it’s the only time he gets to talk to him.

Despite all the warnings, it still hits Draco way too abruptly when he realises he’s in love with Harry Potter. He’s in the middle of a potions double when his eyes, completely of their own accord, latch on to Potter turning his head and laughing at something the Weasel said. Draco stares and stares as the realisation washes over him. He keeps staring even long after Potter has turned his head back to the front of the class and all he can see is messy black hair.

Pansy works it out first. Even before Draco’s potions epiphany. Although for once she understands the importance of keeping her mouth shut. So when Draco comes to her with his revelation, she is not at all surprised. And she is here to help. She convinces Draco to cool it with the snarky comments and work up the courage to actually talk to Potter.

And so - with plenty of encouragement - Draco does. At first it’s just small things like asking Potter for a spare quill in class, or saying excuse me politely as they pass rather than pushing into Potter. And then one day Draco works up the courage to say good morning to Potter when he runs into him in the Great Hall during breakfast. And Potter says good morning right back, albeit with a puzzled expression on his face.

Soon, Potter no longer looks puzzled. When Draco greets him, he returns the sentiment with a smile, that seems to grow with each day. It’s that smile which gives Draco the push he needs to approach Potter in the library one night and ask if he might like to share his table. An enthusiastic yes from Potter lights a small spark of hope in Draco’s pining heart.

Studying together becomes a habit most nights. It starts off silently, Draco happy to share his space with Potter but too nervous to think of anything further to say past a simple greeting. Thankfully one day it’s Potter who starts the first conversation. It’s one of those awkward small talk type conversations about the weather but it leads in to an animated discussion of Quidditch that keeps them talking well into the night, ignoring several reprimands from Madam Prince for being too loud in the library.

And so Draco and Harry - he’s no longer Potter - become friends. And Draco’s happy. Happier than he’s been in a long time. And his friends know. Not just Pansy. All the Slytherins. It’s obvious. Because despite spending most of his free time hanging out with Harry Potter, and professing to have no remaining hate for him at all, Draco still stares at him across the Great Hall, at breakfast, at lunch and at dinner.

And so Slytherins, being Slytherins, begin planning, with Pansy at the lead of course. They already know how Draco feels, they only need to get Harry Potter to realise his own feelings too, which they suspect match Draco’s. Because he might have his head down in the Great Hall but they’ve seen Harry stare at Draco during Quidditch games for far longer than strictly necessary.

And so they do something that Draco would completely disapprove of, solely for Draco’s own good. When they know Harry will be walking by the Quidditch lockers after a Gryffindor practice, they plant two of their own at a nearby bench and have them talking far louder than normal conversation requires.

“It’s really rather embarrassing. Draco’s been pining for ages. I’ve never seen anyone who had it so bad.”

“But who do you mean? I’ve only seen him hanging out with Potter.”

“Exactly. Potter. It’s tragic isn’t it? He’s in love with the boy who lived. He should probably queue up like all the other groupies just to get his autograph.”

While the two younger Slytherins continue their staged and poorly acted performance, (Pansy will have words with them later) Pansy, safely hidden with a disillusionment charm, watches Potter’s reaction closely and is not displeased. At the sound of Draco’s name, Potter stops immediately to eavesdrop which is telling in itself. When his own name comes into play, a blush creeps slowly up his face. And when Draco’s love for him is revealed, an involuntary smile appears on Harry’s face very very quickly. Pansy knows now they only have to wait.

Sure enough, at dinner that night, Harry Potter makes his move. Always one for dramatics, he walks right up to the Slytherin table and plants a short but deliberate kiss square on Draco’s face before Pansy even has time to let out a wolf whistle.

Draco sits there, mouth agape, pale face not so pale for once, until another Slytherin gives him a nudge on the shoulder. He looks up and blinks at Harry Potter who is smiling down at him. Once more Harry’s smile brings him courage. He stands up to meet Harry, conscious of every eye in the Great Hall on him, and kisses Harry Potter right back.

And it’s the Slytherins who lead the cheers that erupt across the Great Hall. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. At last.

  • Me: Oh coochie coochie coo, waneenee. Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy, c'mere my smol baby. Awe look at those eyes and those cheeks, such strong teeth. You're a really beautiful color, did you know?
  • Crocodile: *stares intently at me*
The 2 Elements of an ORIGINAL STORY IDEA

If you’ve been doing this writing thing for more than one day, you’ve likely experienced the following worry: 

“What if my story idea ISN’T ORIGINAL?”

And if my experience is any indication, things spiraled downwards from there: “What if it’s cliche? What if there’s nothing new here?! It IS cliche. It ISN’T original. I’m a failure! ALL MY WRITING NEEDS TO BURN!”

Calm yourself. There’s a way to make sure that your story concept is unique.  

First, what IS a story concept? It’s the initial idea that made you want to write the thing. It’s the “What If” question that starts everything off. Later, it will be the promise that hooks the reader or audience, and makes them want to experience the story. 

So for example: What if Cinderella was a cyborg? What if a rat wanted to be a french chef? What if a fish had to venture across the ocean to find his son who’s captive in a dentist’s office aquarium?   

All great concepts. All of which seem to be comprised of two elements: something that we already know about, a set up that establishes expectations, and then something contrasting and surprising, which creates irony or surprise.  
So the first element of a successful story concept is FAMILIARITY. 

Establishing expectations? Something we already know about? Familiarity?! That sounds like the definition of UNorginal. 

Hear me out. 

What do readers do when foraging for a new novel at the bookstore? Certain readers gravitate to certain shelves. Some go to mysteries, some to crime, a whole lot to romance, and the rest to the other genres that are too numerous to list.

 Why is this? Because genres give them a pretty good idea about what they’re going to get. Readers already know the conventions of the genre. They’ve already put in the work of learning, accepting, and enjoying these conventions. 

Genres give both reader and writer something to go on right away. For the reader, genres are expectations for story events, setting, character, and more, which are automatically enjoyable to them. For a writer, it’s a set of expectations which can be flipped to create something remarkable and unique.  

It’s like telling a joke. Without a setup, there can’t be a punchline. 

The genres are the setup, the individual twist the author puts on that genre is the punchline. Or in other words, readers truly do want the same thing –only different.  

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at one of the most successful stories of all time.

With space ships, interplanetary travel, sentient robots, and aliens running amok, Star Wars LOOKS to be the kind of story that requires the audience to expend lots of mental energy to comprehend and believe. At first glance, it seems that imaginations are going to have to stretch a great deal, and there won’t be anything familiar to ground us – this SEEMS like an uncomfortably new, unwelcoming world. But I doubt if anyone has ever felt uncomfortable or unwelcome while watching Star Wars. And the reason for this can be summed up with one ellipsis-ended sentence:

Suddenly, all is clear. This isn’t the hard-to-imagine future, this is the PAST. We’re not being asked to imagine and believe a totally new world; we’re being taken to the realm of “far, far away”, a place we’ve known since childhood. Isn’t “a long time ago” just another way of saying “once upon a time”? Yes, it is, so we know where we are now. We are in a fairy tale, a myth.  

The familiarity of fairy tales sets us at ease and sets our expectations in place. Expectations which Star Wars meets with flying colors: A farmboy who must become a knight. A princess imploring for aide. A mystical wise-old-man mentor. Sword fights between good and evil. A magic that operates like religion. A dark lord and a dark side. Star Wars was built upon something we already know, something timeless, something we’ve always enjoyed. 

And once those well-known expectations were set, Star Wars was free to add the unexpected and create one of those most memorable story worlds ever.
Think of a story you love, and you’ll probably be able to identify the something-already-known aspect of it.  

How about Harry Potter? 

When we hear “boarding school”, mental images and probabilities are instantly conjured in our minds. We picture classrooms, dormitories, a campus with very old buildings, kids in uniforms, a giant place for meals, living through a schoolyear with a bunch of kids your age, etc. Even if we don’t know much about boarding school, we all know what regular school is like (even us homeschoolers over here *waves*) and our expectations for that are nearly identical from person to person.  

So what does this prove?

It proves that one half of your story’s concept must be grounded in something we already know, and know well. These are the expectations you are going to establish for your reader, before the second element of your concept upends everything and creates something wholly unique. 

You need FAMILIARITY. You need to ground your concept in something WELL-KNOWN. Only then will you be able to create something ORIGINAL. 

Where can familiarity be found?  

1. Genre Conventions 

2. Occupations 

3. Well-known stories  

The possibilities are not limited to these categories, of course. Familiar subjects can be found within many other areas. However, Familiar elements seem to share certain qualities … 

Provides a rough timeline

⦁ Conjures imagery

⦁ Sets expectations for events, characters, opposition, etc

⦁ Has natural potential for conflict 

⦁ Serves as a goal-oriented backdrop for the plot

To see how this works, let’s look at Harry Potter again: 

Familiarity: Going to boarding school. (An occupation)

Timeline: A school year (which Voldy always lets Harry complete before trying to kill him again, bless him.)

Story Expectations: When we hear “school”, we know what we’re going to get.

Imagery: Boarding school conjures tons of possibilities. 

Conflict Potential: It’s a thousand kids living in one castle with a handful of adults – there’s going to be conflict. 

Goal-Oriented: School is inherently goal directed. You want to graduate. And in the case of boarding school, you want to win the house cup. 

But of course, this familiar environment is only HALF of the concept for Harry Potter. The other half, of course, is WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY. Which brings us to the 2nd element of a successful story concept, which will be the subject of the next post.

Nargles

I was in Target today and I walked by a family and the mother was complaining about the price of something and the little boy (who couldn’t have been older than 7) looked away with a faraway look in his eyes and said “I suspect it’s the nargles” and his family was really confused, as they were asking him what a nargles is he just kept shrugging and it was hard for me to keep a straight face