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I've been vaguely poking at a sort of continuation of this entry (which is also turning into a Defendor fanfic if you stand on your head and squint) and a story about Snape being saved from death and de-aged/sent back in time for a do-over to see if he's worthy of becoming an Alchemist1 after his "assumed" death at Nagini's, er, fang. Both stories have the same problem: so far they're much more about logistics and planning than plot.

I freely admit I am Bad At Plot. Part of this is because I don't really understand How Things Work, including People. I mean, I get cause and effect, but all those unseen steps that go into other people's decision-making and all of the things between the cause and the effect, I don't know what they are, and unlike the root cause, I can't necessarily extrapolate them from the effect. This could be why I am so fond of procedurals, even as I recognize they are nothing resembling accurate.

I also am not good at seeing opportunities for action. "What does one do in school?" Well, one goes to class, studies, socializes with friends at lunch... How people got themselves into trouble I will never know. I always say I never smoked pot because I didn't have clue one how to find a dealer. This is still true. As hard as it is to write people who are smarter than you, it's that much harder to write people who have more agency/initiative than you do. Perhaps it's because I grew up in a fairly adventure/trouble-free area.

But really, the shape of the gears is at least (if not more) interesting to me than the configuration. Given what we were shown in the books, could the Trio have created the Marauder's Map? Could Severus? Or were Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs2 so uniquely smart and that powerful that they and only they could have managed such a thing at any age? How exactly does a street-level superhero go about gearing up without his credit card history giving him away? With the realism/grit knob turned up, what would be important for a superhero to have?

On the other hand, I know most other people don't want to read 500 words about how 10-year-old sent-back-in-time Snape finds paper to write his obsessive lists on or how a street-hero structures his shopping trips.






1Alchemists are sort of the Hidden Masters/Shadow Rulers/Illuminati/Whathaveyou of the Wizarding World, and Nicholas Flamel was the hidden king, which is why his failed protege/liaison to the wand-wavers Dumbledore started losing political influence after his death sometime just before or during the beginning of Chamber of Secrets.

I happen to like the theory because the Wizengamot doesn't seem to be well-thought out (as seen through the Harry filter). What exactly are their powers? They are both the Legislature and the Judiciary? What exactly is their relationship to the Ministry? What is the Ministry's relationship to the governance of the outside-of-Britain Wizarding World?


2Wormtail is braver than other characters credit him, but I always see him as someone with more cunning than intelligence, and he was certainly not as rawly powerful as his friends.

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