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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Harry Potter Stuff

So.

I'm kinda pushing my way through Cybele's The Boy Cannot Know, which is not easy considering my teacher/student squick and the greater one about a man being sexually attracted to a fifteen year old boy, but the plot is intrigueing and jacquez rec'd it, so I'm trying.

And something I've glossed over elsewhere, but have noticed in both posts and fic - the characterization of Sirius Black as a "psychopath" or otherwise as other than a good person to be Harry's godfather. Prior to the movie, Black was, in fact, a BSO, usually slashed with Lupin and both as good guys. This has changed, and this must be due to Snape being reimagined as a sympathetic character. Snape hates Sirius, therefore Sirius *must* be bad (no matter that Snape feels the same way about Harry, who cannot be bad.)

I see nothing in the books to support such a characterization of Sirius, and I'm wondering where it really comes from.

The other was a more general slash problem - discounting a rival woman. In this story, Lily is called "the most uninteresting woman in the world." Now, we dont' know *much* about Lily, except that James loved her very much, that she had green eyes and that she was talented in Charms (much like her son.) Oh, and that she loved her son more than life itself, that she was able to defend him to her death and that she was as much a target for Voldemort as her husband.

This does not strike me as being uninteresting. I want to know more about this rather remarkable mudblood.

Comments

Oh, how I hate that woman-discounting thing! I tend to associate it with very young writers, and hope they'll grow out of it, but heaven knows it pops up everywhere. Note to these writers: what kind of men are you going to have, if they DON'T have strong, smart, lovable mothers and sisters and friends, never mind partners?

I do agree ...

that there are often terrible/lacking characterizations of both Sirius and Lily ... but in the case of this fic, since we're seeing it from Snape's view ...

it makes sense. I think he would think Sirius a loon, and would somehow denigrate Lily because she got what he most wanted. So we're not really seeing any characterization of them, just perceptions filtred through Snape's experiences and disappointments.

Just thinking.

B

Re: I do agree ...

If it were only *this* fic, I wouldn't have blinked,since, yes, it *is* Snape's pov and he has reason to think that way.

But I've seen it other places and in lj posts, and I know he has been portrayed far more positively in the past.

There are a few things that support that characterization of Sirius. Well, one thing. He *did* try to kill Snape when he was 16. Even given that 16-year-olds are assholes, that's a pretty damn fucked-up thing to do.

But--although he and Snape clearly hate each other--in PoA (when he's not trying to kill Peter) and GoF, he seems reasonably sane. The Dementors didn't drive him bonkers, and he seems to be pretty together, for the most part.

As for Lily...I'm not sure I've ever met a characterization of her that I've liked. She usually ends up as either bland or a device--something to drive Snape and James apart. Personally?

"Stunt flyers will do it. You'll probably never see it in tournament play, though. Too risky, and too difficult." I flicked one finger against the Snitch, remembering. "It was, perhaps, the only thing I could do on a broomstick that your father could not. He was the better Seeker, but I could perform an Ugu Roll."

"You were a Seeker?"

I snorted. "Until I grew too tall, yes. After that, I played Keeper."

He crossed his arms and looked up at me. "The Headmaster once told me you were jealous of my father's prowess at Quidditch."

I nodded. "True enough. I beat him only once as Seeker, out of all the times we played. That is a bitter pill to swallow, for a young boy. Now. What can you tell me about Albion?"

"Later," he said, taking the Snitch from me and tossing it into the air. "Accio broom!" His Firebolt smacked into his outstretched hand. "Care for some one-on-one, Master?"

sirius

sirius did cut up the fat lady in the gryffindor portrait very badly -- and largely out of frustration that she was doing her job as hogwarts security. also, he (and lupin!) did plan to murder another person. one, this is murder. two, this is stupid, since only the testimony of that person can clear sirius' name. sirius has a history of impulsive, anger-based actions which have or nearly have terrible consequences.

then again, so do many of the "good guys" in this universe, although sirius does seem to be the unluckiest with consequences....

Re: sirius

I will agree that Sirius did not act *wisely* in his destruction of the Fat Lady, although perhaps that could be attributed to twelve years of imprisonment and the knowledge that he contributed to the deaths of his best friends. It was, in fact, a grave error in both judgement and ethics, but anger and guilt are a potent combination, especially if left to fester for twelve years. Black is amazingly sane even if one does not count the Dementors and the sheer boredom.

His attitude towards Peter Pettigrew, otoh. I can see that. Again, not wise, but it would be only human to spend those years of near hell plotting his revenge on Wormtail, who after all, betrayed *everyone's* trust. He also probably wasn't looking to get cleared at this point - who would believe him?

And he turned out to be right. And, while Harry was perhaps morally correct in not letting Sirius kill Peter (and showed tremendous strength of will in doing so), one does wonder how much grief could have been spared if he had permitted the killing.