Things that are portrayed as weak and lame but in reality can probably beat the shit out of you and steal your lunch money then spend it on candy:
the stupidest thing in the entire harry potter series was when they go down to the slytherin dormitory and it’s all dark and slimy and freezing and shit. as if lucius malfoy would let his son live in squalor like that. the house with the highest concentration of spoiled purebloods are happy to live under the goddamn lake? no.
wow this is the #1 best harry potter criticism i have ever read
the essential dichotomy of the two very different things jkr seemed to be trying to embody in slytherin which are just not compatible if you ask me.
you’ve got the malfoy side of slytherin. blood purity, deliberate class metaphors, deliberate race metaphors. this kind of slytherin is all about old wealth, british identity, and privilege-based violence. the malfoys are SUPER WHITE they are the WHITEST WHITE, and with that goes this image they project as benevolent philanthropists, while they privately (and then not so privately) degrade and exploit and abuse those they consider categorically lesser (muggle borns, house elves, people poorer than them, etc). this is the slytherins-are-privileged-racists side of the house traits.
the other side has always kind of struck me as jkr’s-privilege-seems-to-have-led-her-to-use-racist-tropes-to-make-slytherins-more-loathesome side of things. it’s the snape side of slytherin. the side embodied by snakes (and all that weight of judeo-christian inflected nastiness they are supposed to carry). why is the house of POWERFUL pureblood families not represented by some animal associated with institutional power in britain (like I DON’T KNOW A FUCKING LION). this version of slytherin is the kind of evil that is “obvious” because everyone knows snakes are bad (just like rats are bad!!! :|). everyone knows the guy with the black eyes, the greasy hair, the “”“”“sallow”“”“” complexion, and the hooked nose (always comes back to the Ambiguously Ethnic thing doesn’t it) is evil. you know it even before he says a fucking thing. you can tell he’s evil by his body, by his phenotype. because this shit doesn’t exist in a vacuum and like it or not, certain traits have a history of being coded in certain ways, racially/ethnically speaking. the idea of sneakiness, of cleverness, of ruthlessness and questionably moral doing-what-it-takes-to-get-ahead, none of that is coded ROBUST HETEROSEXUAL WHITE CHRISTIAN let me tell you that. slytherins are bad at sports (not like the VIGOROUS HEALTHY GRYFFINDORS) and when they do get close to winning it’s by cheating.
but the thing is if you are running the system, you don’t need to cheat the system. the two sides of slytherin just don’t mesh together.
THIS IS SUPER INCOHERENT I need to structure this into something formal with capitalization when I’m not quite so beset with insomnia and inarticulate rage. I’M NOT EVEN A SLYTHERIN. I just care because if JKR had been really serious about the radical and anti-authoritarian message she seemed to WANT for harry potter, it would have been gyffindor that was the dangerous, privileged, racist house. that’s the house with the traits associated with POWER, and so much of that second slytherin has been associated with groups that are ruthlessly marginalized.
this old post explains it pretty well actually, the antisemitism / anti-foreigner sentiment seething just beneath the surface.
i love harry potter but sometimes i fucking hate harry potter you know?
K, but, James had a friend facing bigotry and he became an illegal animagus to help make that friend’s life better.
Snape had a friend facing bigotry and he joined up with the bigots.
Like end of contest, bye
regulusblacking said: "top six post-war harry headcanons"
- harry doesn’t reconcile with ginny. they both went through hell but their experience of war is so much different (there is no more common ground, not really). they tried, of course they did (harry felt he’s supposed to), but no matter how hard, it just didn’t work anymore. they weren’t kids any longer and they didn’t know adults they’ve become and it was too painful to get to know each other anew.
- he travels. really he just takes off one day, doesn’t even try to rationalise his decision. he needs room to breathe and there is none in england, not with the ghosts of everyone that died anywhere he goes. so he discovers the world he just saved and there is no plan, there is nothing he has to do and he can relax for the first time in so long. he takes a lot of random portkeys and sometimes just apparates without a clear image in his head, curious what would happen next (the thought of splinching doesn’t bother him much)
- in his travels he never stays in one place for too long (the feeling of someone trying to catch him is still fresh in his memory) but always tries to learn something. just like he discovered the wizarding world when he was eleven, he discovers now how much richer this world actually is and how much it has to offer. he’s still enchanted by magic and so he keeps his eyes wide open and listens to everyone who wants to teach him something new, a different way to use magic.
- he has troubles sleeping (but that’s not really new). no matter what sky he’s under there is death after death replaying against the blackness of his eyelids and he can’t do anything, he can only hopelessly watch and lose his loved ones time and time again. so he wakes in the middle of most nights shivering weeping screaming. and some nights there is some new friend in his bed trying to help him calm down and sometimes it’s just a stranger bc he was so desperate for human touch that day and sometimes he’s all alone and he really can’t tell which version hurts the least.
- he always wanted to be an auror but that was a child’s dream and there is too much blood on his hands already anyway, he can’t keep fighting, he’s so very tired (sometimes he can even tell himself that he’s done enough and believe it). he decides to give those hands a better purpose, use them for something really good and learns to be a healer. school is harder without hermione but for once he actually tries, he wants this. he thinks of all the lives he’ll be able to save (what if he had all this knowledge before) to stay motivated and memorise all the bones in a human body.
- he buys a notebook and he writes in it everyday. at first it’s really hard to get the words out or to make them hold some meaning. there are days when he writes just one sentence (i’m still breathing), there are days when he can’t even look at the empty page, there are days when words are pouring out of him and he can’t stop them and he bleeds on paper and it feels better than the warmest hug. sometimes he writes letters to his friends but he doesn’t always send them (and when he does, it’s the muggle way) and they’re not always to friends who are alive. he once thought about writing an autobiography (he knows rita will do it for him at some point anyway) but the world got his boy who lived and it doesn’t really care about harry, does it?
do you ever stop to think what it would be like if the dursleys were nice to harry? what if their reason for hating magic wasn’t simply that it was magic and they were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much but that it took petunia’s sister away from her and then killed her? what if it wasn’t even really hatred bc wizards are different and not normal but accumulated pain and fear bc some wizards kill?
imagine harry actually being able to call priver drive his home. imagine him having a room like any other kid and playing with dudley and eating full meals every day. imagine dudley defending harry instead of being the one to bully him. imagine the dursleys celebrating harry’s birthdays as well, having his pictures on the walls next to dudley’s, buying him new clothes, hugging him. imagine if they actually told him the truth about his parents, that they had magic and they were killed but they loved him so so much. imagine harry being able to talk with petunia about his mother, to hear stories about her childhood and what was she liked and that he has her eyes and they’re beautiful. imagine harry getting to read his letter at breakfast and be excited bc he’s like his mum and dad, he has magic too.
imagine harry knowing love from the very start.
but now think about this happy harry who would have a family to go back to and ask yourself: would he be so eager to sacrifice himself in the forest? would it be so easy for him to accept death? would there be any reason for him to do just that? of course not. and of course dumbledore knew all that. if the dursleys were indeed nice people dumbledore would probably find a different place for harry bc he needed him broken, he needed him selfless to the point where it’s unhealthy, he needed him to be the weapon to kill voldemort and nobody cares if weapons get a happy childhood, they’re just weapons after all.
Imagine Muggleborns having patronuses that represent something from Muggle culture that they feel protected by. A shy Hufflepuff with a Pikachu patronus. A Slytherin who’s really nervous because of all the stuff in the past and they’re Muggleborn but they cast a patronus and it’s one of the Game of Thrones dragons. A Gryffindor being the talk of the common room because of their Jaeger patronus. A Ravenclaw with a comic obsession finding out their patronus is the Hulk.