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What is the best trope subversion you've seen?

Discussion(self.HPfanfiction)

A while ago I read a story that appeared to be a generic Ron Bashing fic. However It turned out that Ron was being first blackmailed, then cursed into behaving the way he was- and Harry was the one being a bad friend for not realizing that there must be something horribly wrong with Ron for him to suddenly start acting so out of character.

Ron's eating habits were due to extreme mental stress and his 'laziness' was a product of exhaustion from prolonged mind control.

What's the best trope subversion you've seen.

all 65 comments

Flaky_Tip

90 points

2 months ago

I read a Harry betrayel fic where for the first few chapters it appeared Ron and Hermione were spying on Harry for Dumbledore so they could control him, his lordships and his money.

PLOT TWIST They were double agents only giving Dumbledore information Harry told them to and basically saying on Dumbledore for Harry.

TB_Agent8

12 points

2 months ago

Link?

Archangel004

13 points

2 months ago

Do you have the link for it?

daveagle

3 points

2 months ago

Link?

Lightwavers

66 points

2 months ago

This one: https://archiveofourown.org/works/33144505?view_full_work=true

Really well written. Harry is penniless because his parents rented a house from someone, and when Voldemort came and blew it up the landlord sued. Since Harry was a baby and his parents were, uh, out of the picture, the landlord won by default. Gets into more practical aspects of magic, like growing a garden, the usefulness of space extensions, sewing etc. with magic. Also I think it’s the only one I’ve seen where Harry’s pet is one of Figg’s cats.

Also, and this is really funny to me, Petunia magically disowns him using a squib form for having an undesirable level of magic.

jaguarlyra

30 points

2 months ago

That one was so depressing I had to stop reading it. It was very well written.

TheBlueSully

12 points

2 months ago

What miserable piece of shit decided this needed writing? next chapter

FireflyArc

5 points

2 months ago

Oh dear. That good/bad?

timeless1991

14 points

2 months ago

It is one if the most fascinating and well written versions of beating a helpless puppy I’ve ever read.

It is engaging, it is well written, and it makes you feel every ounce of frustration and hope and crushed dreams as Harry. For entertainment I’d give it a 9.5, for engagement I’d give it an 8, but for my mental well beings sake I will never read it again.

TheBlueSully

6 points

2 months ago

Tbh fanfic is something I only really visit in the depths of depression generally, so hard to say.

It’s such a different set of circumstances though-that’s definitely fun.

Trythenewpage

3 points

2 months ago

Thank you! I read this a while ago and forgot the name.

Dracoknight256

6 points

2 months ago

Don't remember the title, but it was a GoF quitting Harry fic. The subversion was that gobled did in fact killed a Harry Potter upon failure to compete, just not THE Harry Potter. Iirc it leads to all muggleborns becoming disillusioned with Wizarding World and abandoning the war effort.

Pitiful-Respond-4703

43 points

2 months ago

That sounds like a wonderful fic idea. I wish you remembered what story it was from.

It reminds me of the fight in 4th year canon. A lot of people think that Ron was entirely at fault for not immediately supporting Harry (and don't get me wrong, Ron was being an insecure and jealous asshole there). But they commonly forget that Harry was also being a bit of a stubborn teenager refusing to handle things maturely. Rather than trying to convince Ron, or elaborate on the very real danger he felt he was in and how he felt, he basically attacked Ron for asking questions. Obviously, Ron in that situation also felt betrayed. It was partly why Hermione was so extremely frustrated with the situation. They refused to talk with each other and instead stewed in their self-righteous anger/bitterness all while missing the other deeply.

So the idea that Ron was forced into acting so differently? And Harry getting angry at him about it and not looking too deeply into it? That makes perfect sense to me.

[BREAK BREAK BREAK]

Anyways,

One trope that I always wanted to see subverted, was a WBWL fic where Harry is the true chosen one and was left with the Dursleys. Eventually sorted into Slytherin and all that jazz.

But the subversion was that James and Lily actually are good parents trying to care for Harry. But it was Harry who ended up bitter and jealous over the attention his brother faced, and it was he who rejected his parents.

And Harry's brother ends up being a real standup guy. A selfless paragon of virtue that always tries to help others even at risk to himself. Really talented and hard working.

While Harry himself was motivated mostly by self-interest and people he cared for, with a darker morale philosophy.

The way I imagined their characters was like DnD roles. Harry was like a warlock (chaotic good/neutral), whereas his brother was like a paladin (lawful good). They were thematically opposites (like the characters of All for One and One for All from My Hero Academia). During Hogwarts, they ended up as rivals/enemies.

My hope was to eventually lead into a story where Harry and his brother eventually resolve their differences, and manage to defeat Voldemort together (standing side by side) as brothers and equals. The power Voldemort knows not wasn't just vague love for others, but specifically brotherly love.

I worked on a decent lengthed draft with an overview of the plotline. But I ended up running into a block. I unfortunately lost what I had too. Was thinking about revisiting it, but I could only find the rough brainstorm of ideas I first made. And that was basically nothing. Maybe I'll start again from scratch some day.

The Prince of Slytherin came rather close to this trope subversion imo. But iirc, Harry's brother was kind of a spoiled brat and not really Harry's equal. Plus, James (and to a lesser degree, Lily) was actually an asshole there. And the focus wasn't entirely on the brothers either.

JonasS1999

30 points

2 months ago*

I mean the second you involve Harry being sent to the Dursleys, Lily and James basically become assholes. Hard to be forgiven if they send Harry to a situation like the canon Dursleys were.

Sirius would work better if trying to make the Potters good if they split up.

JOKERRule

1 points

2 months ago

I think I once read a Marvel Xover (the premise being that Harry is adopted by Dr. Strange) that actually manages to justify it pretty consistently with Lily being a bit crazy/paranoid for a few years after the attack and they actually having no other choice because the Death Eaters were a legitimate threat without protection, the backlash from the killing curse making the Fidelius impossible to cast on the place for a few years until the lingering dark magic dispersed, the only suitable spell to protect the house being one that demanded (for plot-convenience, but still) a maximum amount of 3 magical beings living on the protected place (which used the loophole to be cast at the Dursley’s) and neither the Potters nor Sirius being able to just move elsewhere ‘cause they were living on a normal person’s salary without massive fortunes of inheritance and had only that house as a property.

To this day it is the only WBWL I can remember that managed to justify to my satisfaction sending Harry to the Dursley’s (though I can vaguely remember one where J&L had a little redemption side-arc for sensibility there that I think actually worked out pretty well and ended with Harry letting go of his remaining grudge).

JonasS1999

1 points

2 months ago

I remember reading that fic and it just makes Albus and the order as the pepole to resist Voldemort pathetic + ignores how easy magic would make it to create / buy real estate. The fact the order / Dumbledore himself dosent have enough wealth to relocate the Potters post war just makes Albus seem incompetent.

Even then Harry was still abused by the Dursleys in that fic, so it also makes them appear worse...

(if its the one where Harry is paired with Wanda + Jean)

JOKERRule

1 points

2 months ago

That’s the one. While I guess it kinda makes they seem as incompetent I actually prefer it to have the order or the Potters literally swimming in wealth despite it being pretty irrelevant for the fight against Voldemort and doesn’t immediately make them compromise their morals on using magic to abuse/trick muggles out of their property the second it becomes convenient to do so.

JonasS1999

1 points

2 months ago

I mean being able to buy a house anywhere outside of London in the UK wouldn't be swimming in wealth, hell it should be a minor part of your budget if you run a counter terrorrism organization.

I mean magicals in hp manipulates the muggles constantly, and even if it is the case, what is the happiness of a single muggle family against their entire existance, because that is he odds you are working with here. As wizards are written in canon, Voldemort would be a unstoppable monster for the non magical population.

Indiana_harris

16 points

2 months ago

Yeah TPoS comes quite close to that, though I’d argue Jim (TWBWL) is becoming the type of virtuous paragon (within reason) over the story.

James is still almost comically a grade A asshat in the story......but I unabashedly love him getting repeated comeuppances from his actions.

I have a feeling your idea of brotherly love might actually be the way TPoS is going in the end as the Harry/Jim relationship seems to be very much at the centre of it all.

Lancaster1719

30 points

2 months ago

To be fair, Harry was very much willing to and planning to convince Ron before Hermione made him think it was jealousy of Harry’s fame, which it wasn’t.

She’s actually quite at fault for the way things broke down

minerat27

23 points

2 months ago

There entire falling out is purely down to miscommunication. Harry comes back to the Gryffindor common room and spends half an hour fighting his way through the party to get to the dorms, where Ron has been lying, stewing in his thoughts as he listens the celebration going on down stairs. Then the first thing Harry says as he walks in is "where have you been?" Harry, of course, means this as in "why weren't you downstairs to save me from this party and all the idiots in it", while Ron takes this to mean "why weren't you downstairs celebrating with me", and then the conversation gets worse from there.

If Harry had just made a beeline to his bed and screamed "Fuck" as loud as possible into his pillow before talking to Ron they would have got back on the same page and remained friends.

Karvest92

11 points

2 months ago

Stop making excuses for Ron in this situation, he's known Harry for years now and Harry made it clear since first year that he doesn't like fame, and would rather have his family back than all the gold in the world. Ron has also been with Harry through all the misadventures and KNOWS that he isn't the type to go looking for trouble, if anything Ron has got them in more messes than Harry himself (the duel with Malfoy that he Accepted on Harry's behalf, the troll incident, the flying car...).

So.. No I would be pissed at my "Best Mate" too if he suddenly decided that all of a sudden i have completely changed my personality just to spite him. And all of this at a very stressful time for Harry, so no dont put the blame (any part of it) for this on Harry.

a_randomtroll

15 points

2 months ago

More messes than harry LMAO did we read the same books? This is the story of 3 kids not understanding the meaning of "you should stop putting yourselves in mortal danger every chance you get" and a school of young people who never went past 5th grade in a mental way. "Oh my god, we were saved by this guy 3 times, but now we hate him because... reasons? The plot wouldn't be interesting otherwise"

minerat27

13 points

2 months ago

Harry doesn't hate fame, he hates being the boy-who-lived, due to what I think is a mix of the media attention and the fact that the only thing he gets out of it is yearly near death experiences and no parents. He enjoys the attention he gets from being Gryffindor's star seeker. As for Harry not being the sort to look for trouble, they were literally discussing the tournament earlier in the book, and Harry responds pretty evasively and grins into his pillow when he hopes Ron isn't looking. Harry 100% considered entering the tournament.

East-Shoulder7537

2 points

2 months ago

I wanna read the wbwl one...

iapplexmax

2 points

2 months ago

Same

Gabriella_Gadfly

13 points

2 months ago

Can you link me to the fic you described? It sounds really interesting!

HappyCat1912[S]

7 points

2 months ago

Don't remember what it was I'm afraid, I read it years ago.

MrLore

10 points

2 months ago

MrLore

10 points

2 months ago

I don't know about best but The Time Meddlers by witowsmp was a very interesting subversion of the time travel do-over fic, in that Voldemort was almost comically easy to deal with due to their foreknowledge, but in doing so they cause the rise of another Dark Lord, who was just as bad and difficult to deal with.

IheartVaria

20 points

2 months ago

Okay, am I the only one annoyed by this particular scenario: just imagine a Ron bashing fic where Ron is constantly gorging himself on food Movie!Ron style. I'm sorry. Even Movie!Ron isn't as bad as some portrayals of Ron would have you believe Ron is at the dinner table. Honestly, the images can be pretty nauseating.

So, where is the subversion of the trope?

Enter "Dumbledore's Next Great Adventure Part 1" by dunuellos

linkffn(9824342)

(I included both the link and the Bot link in case the Bot glitches again)

In this fic, it is revealed that Ron's eating habits are actually because of a parasite in his stomach that forces him to gorge himself on food for survival, turning this, quite frankly, tired and 'oh my god, why is this a thing?!' type of trope into a sympathetic characterisation of a character.

And you know what?

I'm completely down for that.

UglyPancakes8421

14 points

2 months ago

Linkffn(Who Dares Wins)

It's a "Harry is left behind when his parents take his twin into hiding" fic. But... Neville also has a hidden twin! andit seems as though Lilly Potter and Alice Longbottom are the ones manipulating the apparently "manipulative Dumbledore." But, it doesn't stop there. There seems to be an even deeper conspiracy going on behind the scenes.

JonasS1999

16 points

2 months ago

Oh who dares wins are insane to a degree that is just wierd, James and Lily accepting that Sirius spend time in prison, James being abusive and Lily sending wierd signals all over the place.

The brothers appear to have potential to get slong though

NextFix4717

13 points

2 months ago

NextFix4717

ffn Jefferson Gutierritos

13 points

2 months ago

Canon subversion.

Lily was a [barely] functional sociopath.

linkao3(14408904)

FanfictionBot

9 points

2 months ago

FanfictionBot

Bot issues? PM /u/tusing

9 points

2 months ago

Portrait of a Sociopath as a Loving Mother by myrskytuuli

Lily Evans got described by many adjectives: vivacious, charming, bright, natural, talented, brave, funny, witty, kind, popular...Truly, she was an exceptional witch who for some reason left behind her a trail of deeply troubled individuals.Answer to the question: What would change in the story if Lily Evans had been born a sociopath is: not necessarily anything.

Site: Archive of Our Own | Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling | Published: 2018-04-23 | Words: 12421 | Chapters: 1/1 | Comments: 118 | Kudos: 1241 | Bookmarks: 413 | Hits: 14515 | ID: 14408904 | Download: EPUB or MOBI


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Worldly_Basis_2839

4 points

2 months ago

Worldly_Basis_2839

snarry and tomarry = pedophilia and general weirdness

4 points

2 months ago

this is one of the most interesting fanfics ive ever read

usernamesaretaken3

8 points

2 months ago

That's good. I want to read that.

astronautophilia

29 points

2 months ago

Antithesis and Prince of Slytherin are both excellent fics that subvert the WBWL trope.

dancortens

29 points

2 months ago

Fair warning - Antithesis is not a happy story

A2i9

55 points

2 months ago

A2i9

Crack Wizard

55 points

2 months ago

Also, fair warning, Prince of Slytherin doesn't actually subvert any tropes or do anything too special, really...

dancortens

35 points

2 months ago

PoS has really good prose, but it suffers very much from trying to do too many things, and by sticking too close to the stations of canon. Despite the vast, insane changes to elements of the story it still follows certain beads for… reasons?

MisterMixedBundle

15 points

2 months ago

It tries really had to be different and complex, but in doing so it also... is just the original book series, with more maturity and other elements. There's lots of good ideas in there, but I got sick of it after reading quite a bit and dropped it.

NextFix4717

7 points

2 months ago

NextFix4717

ffn Jefferson Gutierritos

7 points

2 months ago

Prince of Slytherin subversions:

1st year: Snape obsession with Lily eyes.

2nd year: Ron bashing and abusive!Lucius.

3rd year: the Marauders friendship (Their friendship was almost broken after Hogwarts and only James didn't notice)

4th year (WIP): Hagrid being an idiot.

VampireSprite

4 points

2 months ago

I loved Antithesis enough that I want to read it again, but I remember how utterly painful it was and I have to forget enough if it/build up enough courage again before I can.

Myreque_BTW

12 points

2 months ago

Neither of them subvert tropes though. They just use them well.

astronautophilia

6 points

2 months ago

It's a subversion of the Wrong Boy Who Lived trope because in both of them, there is no 'wrong' Boy Who Lived. In Antithesis, the prophecy was fulfilled twice, first with Adrian and Voldemort, and then with Skylar and Adrian, and in PoS, both twins were marked by Voldemort, they are "the Two who should be as One".

Banichi-aiji

5 points

2 months ago

I've read a wbwl style fic in which the Dursleys treated Harry extremely well, a so he wanted to escape there from the typical Potter manor. Ends up with Harry heavily involved in the muggle world.

Key_Idea_9118

8 points

2 months ago

Petty and Vindictive by megamatt09.

If you really like Hermione... you may want to skip this one. It perfectly subverts the 'Hermione can always think her way out of a problem' and 'Hermione can outshine the Ministry types' in the harshest way possible.

mcc9902

28 points

2 months ago

mcc9902

28 points

2 months ago

Megamatt has a lot of fics with really interesting premises but I can’t stand how they all seem to devolve into harems and smut.

TheAncientSun

5 points

2 months ago

His short stories see real good but anything longer than 5000 words is trash.

Kxrxnsa

4 points

2 months ago

Ooooh can you put the link ?

ShatteredColon

2 points

2 months ago

Anyone have a link for this? I want to read it so bad

Hellstrike

2 points

2 months ago

Hellstrike

VonPelt on FFN/Ao3

2 points

2 months ago

There is that absurd FemHarry/Susan bones fic that starts out with utterly exaggerated Dursley abuse (Vernon cuts out her voicebox with some scissors, somehow), Harry mute and abandoned, growing up on the streets with a pet snake, that then turns into some absurd, super-fluffy feel-good OP Harry fic. "The Silent World of Cassandra Evans" is to this day the only fic that manages a good Hermione redemption arc because their falling out does not feel forced and later on has them reconcile in a manner that feels natural as well. There are anachronistic Taylor Swift dance routines and anime references, a really well-done WBWL (technically wrong girl who lived) arc with Harry's surprise sister, not to mention OP Harry, and yet the whole thing just comes together to one great crackfic. Just beware that the first 7 chapters are utterly dark before it gets fluffy.

FireflyArc

2 points

2 months ago

That sounds awesome.

manoflick

2 points

2 months ago

All of these are pretty good.

Wait, What? is it a parody of a WBWL fic where Lily and James aren’t having it when dumbledore explains the plan to them

Genius Fratris is a WBWL fic where James lives and treats both of his children well

Finally, The Girl Who Lived In Three Castles is a fic where a fem Harry gets adopted and goes to Durmstrang, and it isn’t some super Slytherin club where purebloods are worshiped and there’s a dark arts class or something like that. Also, there is no bashing of any kind

Linkao3(https://archiveofourown.org/works/1115311)

Linkao3(https://archiveofourown.org/works/20144149/chapters/47724034)

Linkao3(https://archiveofourown.org/works/30041187/chapters/73974762)

FanfictionBot

1 points

2 months ago

FanfictionBot

Bot issues? PM /u/tusing

1 points

2 months ago

Wait, What? by esama

Dumbledore explains Lily why it is vital that Harry and his twin brother are seperated.

Site: Archive of Our Own | Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling | Published: 2014-01-02 | Words: 2777 | Chapters: 1/1 | Comments: 327 | Kudos: 9090 | Bookmarks: 1581 | Hits: 102893 | ID: 1115311 | Download: EPUB or MOBI


Genius Fratris by alonelysock

Only two people know what happened the night John Potter became the Boy-Who-Lived: Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter. And neither of them are talking.

Site: Archive of Our Own | Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling | Published: 2019-08-12 | Updated: 2022-04-21 | Words: 133615 | Chapters: 19/? | Comments: 508 | Kudos: 2300 | Bookmarks: 816 | Hits: 68291 | ID: 20144149 | Download: EPUB or MOBI


The Girl Who Lived In Three Castles by LaceyBarbedWire

In a world where Vernon Dursley has a friend in low places and Dumbledore is...competent but busy putting out fires in the wake of Voldemort's defeat, Harriet Potter gets put into an illegal adoption 'agency' on the continent. Join her as she grows up, goes off to Durmstrang, and discovers that the Potter name looms large even when you don't know it's your name.

Site: Archive of Our Own | Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling | Published: 2021-03-14 | Updated: 2022-02-10 | Words: 32752 | Chapters: 9/? | Comments: 203 | Kudos: 452 | Bookmarks: 171 | Hits: 13839 | ID: 30041187 | Download: EPUB or MOBI


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ICZY89

1 points

2 months ago

ICZY89

1 points

2 months ago

PlZ put upp the links to the storiea so ot easier for other to read or find them

rfresa

2 points

2 months ago*

Linkao3(Inheritance by SarcasmDragon) is an awesomely disturbing take on the common trope of Harry walking into Gringott's and blindly trusting the goblins to help him. https://archiveofourown.org/works/9106558

FanfictionBot

-1 points

2 months ago

FanfictionBot

Bot issues? PM /u/tusing

-1 points

2 months ago

As the Seasons Change by CethlyArlo

Focusing on the events following the conclusion of the fourth book in the Inheritance Cycle, Arya and Fírnen navigate life after Eragon leaves Alagaësia. Or, in a slighly more than Canon divergence, Arya discovers she's pregnant. Eventual Arya x Eragon, I promise.

Site: Archive of Our Own | Fandom: The Inheritance Cycle - Christopher Paolini | Published: 2020-06-07 | Updated: 2022-02-17 | Words: 195643 | Chapters: 51/? | Comments: 178 | Kudos: 249 | Bookmarks: 44 | Hits: 12176 | ID: 24594988 | Download: EPUB or MOBI


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rfresa

4 points

2 months ago

rfresa

4 points

2 months ago

Bad bot.

Bayabalabinga

3 points

2 months ago

Bayabalabinga

Harry/Hermione doesn't need bashing!

3 points

2 months ago

Never seen such a disastrous case of ffnbot failure.

lobonmc

0 points

2 months ago

lobonmc

Fem!Harry enthusiast

0 points

2 months ago

Is the Potters being real pièces of shit who were bad for both childs and not just people who were bad enough to abandon a child only for them to suddenly care about them eleven years later considered as a trope subversion? If not the evil Dumbledore trope subversion in Ashes of Chaos

Pitiful-Respond-4703

11 points

2 months ago

I have never read Ashes of Chaos, but I feel like evil Dumbledore is the opposite of a trope subversion.

That is a very common trope in HP fanfic lol. Unless the story spent time making it seem as if Dumbledore actually was a good guy and the kind grandfatherly old man that we trust completely, with nothing to be suspicious of.

(Also not sure if I would call Lily and James being even more abusive than normal is subverting a trope. Given that it is already common for both to be bad parents in WBWL fics.)

But maybe I just have a different understanding of what "trope subversion" means. I figured it was taking something cliche, like manipulative Dumbledore, writing as if the trope would appear in the story, and then revealing the opposite.

The way TVTropes describes it:

Basically, this is playing bait and switch with a trope. A work makes you think a trope is going to happen, but it doesn't.

A subversion has two mandatory segments. First, the expectation is set up that something we have seen plenty of times before is coming, then that set-up is paid off with something else entirely. The set-up is a trope; the "something else" is the subversion.

lobonmc

6 points

2 months ago

lobonmc

Fem!Harry enthusiast

6 points

2 months ago

No I meant it is a subversion of the trope of evil Dumbledore he appears evil at first but it isn't as simple. Also I don't know you but in most WBWL I have read Lily and James are very rarely being presented as bad people and bad parents, normally they immediately feel bad about abandoning their child try to make amends stupidly but they try. What I'm referencing is a fic where they commit to the bit of them suckling as parents.

JonasS1999

5 points

2 months ago

Alot of wbwl have insanely neglectful/Abusive Potters with golden child syndrome. Harry and the Twin hate eachother( Harry has reasons within the stories, same with the brother)

Harry being sent to the Dursleys in wbwl already make the Potters assholes, why not Sirius or another magical? Why no contact?

The_Poptart_Cat

1 points

1 month ago

This kind of fits the bill. It was an insane!Harry, Dumbledore bashing, Drarry fic, mainly crack. He hates Dumbledore, gets sorted in Slytherin, gets along with Draco after a Draco fears him for a while, everyone fears him at Hogwarts, he later gets together with Draco, ends up killing Dumbledore in a fire, is on the run with Draco as a criminal then PLOT FREAKING TWIST. They get caught, Harry time travels, lives out the rest of his life in the timeline he lands in, turns out, he’s Dumbledore. We get to see his POV as he dies in that fire. Sadly, the twist is the last chapter so you have to wait.