Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fandom: Fanfiction - My Journey into Harry Potter's World

The first fan fiction piece I ever read was for Harry Potter. It was about 12 years ago. I was an undergrad, and a peer and I had talked about how excited we were for the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the book). My peer claimed she had stumbled across the manuscript of HP5 online, and she gave me a copy of it. I could immediately tell this was not J.K. Rowling's writing. It was novice, with grammar errors, skewed plot lines, and, well, fan-girly, in a way that benefited the author. I told this peer so, but she insisted it was the real thing.

Well, of course, when the actual book was released, she changed her mind.

But I digress.

The point of all of this is that I don't really read much fan fiction. Okay, I don't read any of it. However, I did have to write a bit of fan fiction for one of my graduate courses, and I, of course, wrote a Harry Potter fanfic piece. It isn't spectacular, but I thought it was so much fun to try and emulate Rowling's world and writing. It's called "Snape's Bedroom" (and no, that's not code for Fifty Shades of Sallow Skin, or Fifty Shades of Black Cloaks and Hooked Noses, or anything like that - just to be clear). 

As I reread the piece, I realized how much I have grown as a writer. It would be fun to rewrite this, but  I am excited to share it here, presented just as it was in my class. 


Harry knew he would one day come to Spinner's End. He also knew, although he could not explain why or how, that the door to Severus Snape's home would open only for him. Harry felt no trepidation about the prospect of being in Snape's home, near his belongings, near the things that had once been the surroundings of his life. In Snape's life, Harry would not have been caught dead in Snape's neighborhood; in fact, he probably would have been dead--or close to it--if he'd shown up at Snape's door. Now, though, he sought it out, knowing the invitation to it was open only because Snape's life had closed.

Harry stood before the front door and with a quiet mutter of "I am the blood of Lily," it clicked open and allowed him to enter. He closed it softly behind him. The room was dark, as there was no light streaming in from the windows, which were covered with thick black curtains. Harry traced his finger along one of them, creating a path through the dust that had collected over the years. The room was cluttered but orderly and had a musty smell, although it was not unpleasant. Each cushion on the couch was situated perfectly, and the accompanying pillows looked as if they had once been fluffy and comfortable, but in time had dropped into little pillow-frowns, the tops sagging slightly.

Harry walked up the narrow staircase, holding his wand aloft to light his way. His feet left prints in the dust that had settled on the stairs, reminiscent of prints left in deep snow. When he reached the top, he found himself in a small loft, where a double-sized bed and small wardrobe were situated. The bed looked as if it was still awaiting an occupant, although its restful air had deflated a little, as its pillows matched the sad ones below and the feather-down quilt had lost some of its inhabitants. Small white feathers had crept out of it, littering the floor, reminding Harry once again of snow. 

Harry turned to his right; there was a narrow door that was closed and almost imperceptible if glanced at casually. He placed his hand on the knob; the blood in his veins was the key to the door. It opened at his touch, and he entered Snape's real bedroom, the one hidden from Death Eater views. Anyone else may have been taken aback by the many pictures of a beautiful girl with dark red hair and emerald green eyes, beaming from every corner of the room, or in some pictures, looking melancholy, although little lights of joy were still visible in the way her eyes moved. Letters written in her hand were tacked like posters on the walls, each one bearing her signature. Harry traced the letters with his finger, wanting to feel the life that had been inside the fingers when they had been written. There was no note for Harry, none to indicate that this room now belonged to him, but he knew it was his. This room held memories of his mother, who had saved his life and who had been, to Severus Snape, the reason for living.
From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows