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We'll be starting to move to http://writinghp7.myfastforum.org/ within the next few days. If there are objections or alteration desires, feel free to state them below, but be quick. I'd prefer not to have to copy and past all the site's contents more than once.

ETA: Moving complete now. All members, please register at the new forum so we can close this community. Thanks!

Lord Voldemort - and his plans

Another suggestion. The train's done me a lot of good today. We need a thread to discuss Voldemort's aims and course of action anyway, so let me summarise:

Voldemort wants
a) immortality
b) power

Voldemort fears
a) death, and thus
b) the unknown, proabaly

Voldemort believes
a) in the supremacy of wizarding blood, which suggests that he maintains a certain hierarchy among his followers. It does not automatically mean that he despises Muggleborns or Half-Bloods because he is one himself. It might be that he emphasises this belief in order to keep his followers close, who will like the idea of pureblood supremacy, but I think we could also make a case that Voldemort wants to keep wizarding blood among wizarding blood and only occasionally allows outsiders, who prove themselves worthy (Snape) to enter these noble ranks.

b) that Harry is absolutely worthless to him now and can be killed. We'll have to decide what to do about this. We can follow JK's lead and have Voldemort target July 31st, or, indeed, we could show that he has other aims to pursue and doesn't particularly care whether Harry lives or dies, at least not as long as the boy doesn't stand in his way. A third option would be the one I suggested in the Snape-Harry Confrontation post. If Voldemort somehow got convinced that Harry was worth more living than dead, we could get a nice twist out of this and avoid being either unlogical or all "die Potter, I don't need you, AK" again, as JK chose in OotP.

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I was wondering all through DH why Voldemort would want the Ministry. If he has an army and followers and money, what does he need the Ministry for? He could just build his own centre of power from where he pursues his immortality goals unperturbed. The Death Eaters could be a little like the Swiss Guard (in which case I'd love for Hermione to point this out with Ron going: "No, I think they're all British.") or something. I suppose the real Ministry will have to fall at some point, but there is no reason why Voldemort would try to take the building. UNLESS he actually wants something within the Department of Mysteries. I've been thinking for a while how we could use that veil, and this would be one way - have it be one of serveral ways how Voldemort tries to gain immortality. It'd be logical for him to have more than one plan at a time and it would explain why he is being so ineffective throughout OotP.

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Snape-Harry Confrontation

I really don't know how we are going to solve the problem that there is no way to track down new community replies or something. Hm. Maybe a forum would have been better after all. Anyway, here's my first concrete idea of what a Harry-Snape confrontation might look like. Random bit, but perhaps interesting to discuss:

Snape, being good and all and knowing about Horcruxes (if we decide on it, otherwise learning about it through Harry somehow), will have to try and convince Voldemort, inconspicuously, that Harry isn't worth the killing. More precisely, he could be trying to give Voldemort a reason not to kill Harry straight away now that Dumbledore is dead. One way to do so would be to tell Voldemort that Harry is a Horcrux. Whether that is true or not, we can still decide. (It would be awesome, though, if we had this be a story made up by Snape when JK used it as an actual plot point.)
Voldemort then realises - he can't kill Harry, he can't Imperio him, he can't scare him into defeat.

Suppose then we use the "Crucio damages the caster" idea Mary had centuries ago. More precisely, say Crucio was capable of reducing empathy (which Harry doesn't possess in the first place, but hey - let's call it "love for others" and I think JK will argue that he has it). Suppose, Voldemort was trying to use this fact against Harry in order to  bully him into submission. Possibly to reduce him to some kind of self-loathing sadist or something. Somehow to psychically wreck him, in any case. That'll give us Voldie's intention for the scene I am about to suggest, aka. get Harry to cast Crucio often enough.

So... we get this big fighty showdown thing between Snape and Harry, through whatever means (this'll not be easy to incorporate into a story, I'm telling you straight away), which, incidentally, is going to give us tons and tons of opportunity for drawing parallels to James scenes we've seen in previous books. Plus, a lovely duel: pretty. Snape will be trying to prevent Harry from using Unforgivables while, at the same time, trying to convince Voldie that he is aiming at the opposite. In such a situation we could either a) have Harry realise he is behaving exactly like James and develop the topic of bullying some more - Harry would then have to realise what he is doing and get away somehow, or we could b) have Harry use any kind of deadly Unforgivable (AK qualifies, but Crucio would serve my purpose more) on Snape and - hear me out! I am not going to kill Snape. Mwahaha. He's believed dead for the most part of the rest of the book (the confrontation will happen roughly in the middle, I picture) but at some point we'll find out that the entire scene did not happen in real life, but in a sort of triangle sub-reality, which only LV, Snape, and Harry had access to at the time. Which Snape created, perhaps, to avoid being AKed by Harry. Would be a good reason, no?

I know this sounds a little insane, but I would really like for us to use Legilimency as a means of storytelling and I believe it will be possible to write such a scene believable, if we built a good foundation for it. There are two things, which suggest the plot dealing with subjects like "what is real and what isn't". One is the Death Eaters'/Voldie's jeering at Harry for not knowing what is real and what isn't in case of Sirius, and the other is the large amount of space Legilimency has received in recent books. I have the feeling that a lot served for us to get to know Snape a little better, but I also think we can say with justification that mind-control-reality-or-not stuff has been sufficiently used in books 1 - 6 for us to use it now and make a sort of plot device out of it. No?

Last, but not least, we could then have a final encounter between Snape and Harry on slightly more friendly terms (final within the book, that is, not necessarily final final) in which Snape could finally get an apology for someone using illegal spells on him (aka. Harry, possibly apologising for something James has done in a similar encounter), which would be an interesting topic to explore for me as I have considerable problems with apologies in real life and I am sure many other people do, too. And it would be very good for Snape's self-confidence, I imagine.
Instead, though, if this is too much, I could imagine a scene where Harry shows his respect to Snape by voluntarily calling him "Professor Snape" - another thing, which has been built up so carefully and never been used to the full extent of its potential, I think.

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Overall Plotline and Summary of the Book

ETA: I just made up a possible overall plotline. If you think it sucks, tell me, but I am going to post it here in order for us to have something to work with. Please, if you think it's all crap - by all means, say so! These are just suggestions, ideas, and thoughts I've had so far, combined with some of the things we said. And I haven't included everything. I don't think I've mentioned Snape much for now. Haven't been able to make any decisions on him yet, as we didn't seem entirely clear what we wanted - yet.

THE PLOT

1st part, July - October

Harry at Privet Drive
  • Should we have a direct continuation after HBP? No time for holidays?
  • Harry resolves not to return to Hogwarts, initially, as this is what he said at the end of HBP
  • As Harry can't leave his home till July 31st, we could have Ron and Hermione visit him for some time. The Dursleys will complain, but they might be afraid that Harry will turn them all into toads on July 31st if they don't comply. Or something.
During this time, Harry (and the other two) will be making plans:
  1. Dumbledore is dead, thus their first priority will (needs to) be how to protect themselves, long-lastingly, and their families. At least Hermione's.
  2. Harry might decide to continue DD's search for information on Tom Riddle's past. If he doesn't, I'd like him to be forced to do it at some point because I agree that you have to know your enemies.
  3. They will definitely use DD's information to look for Hufflepuff's cup and the "something of Ravenclaw's", which Dumbledore hypothesised could be the next Horcrux. I'd go with the idea that they don't think of how to destroy them before they actually find them. That's pure Gryffindor.
  4. Harry has personal plans to pursue, such as going to Godric's Hollow and his revenge on Snape. Whether or not he pursues them early in the book, he ought to contemplate them.

  • The trio leave Privet Drive early (before July 31st), managing to thwart a few DEs on the way and proud of it. (How does the Lily/Petunia-Harry protection work? We should have a plan.
  • Their first destination might be Diagon Alley or even Knockturn Alley, in search of the cup or books about Horcruxes. They might try Flourish and Blotts and I'd them to realise how much they miss the Hogwarts library (Hermione!) now.
  • They could decide to set up headquarters at Grimauld Place. It seems obvious somehow. And it'd serve our House-Elf subplot.
  • Some more travelling - no finding of Horcruxes - it should become clear that DD left too little information and too few people in charge.
  • Trio might return to Privet Drive for some reason or find out some other way that the Dursleys were slaughtered by Death Eaters when they came to look for Harry on July 31st. This is optional, but I thought today that it might be a grand way of showing the seriousness of the situation, a bit like JK does with the Muggle Studies teacher. Only more cruel and less random. We could make a scene out of it, which mirrors Sirius's finding of James and Lily in Godrics Hollow.
  • At some point, the trio realise that they have to return to Hogwarts for more information or because they suspect a Horcrux there. Their plans might involve Polyjuice Potion. Now, because you need lots and lots of ingredients for the Potion and because they will need someone to supply them with the ingredients, they could recruit Mrs. Weasley for it. She seems the obvious choice, as she is currently unoccupied otherwise. And she will know how to brew potions, as we've discussed in the other thread. What are the chances that Molly will consider teaching Potions at Hogwarts, you lot think?
  • The trio will then have to find a way of keeping three of their fellow students away from Hogwarts and take their places. This might involve any sneaking into Malfoy manor or the Goyle mansion or... or they could persuade someone to let them take their place - or they learn of someone having been murdered or something. Oh no, that won't work. Anyway... any of these will work, I suppose.
  • I propose they return on Hallowe'en for standard form reasons.
Things get less detailed from here. I think we should decide on some things as we go along and plan only the beginning very detailed.

Harry at Hogwarts
  • constant danger of being discovered
  • Two options: a) the school is as it was, under Minerva as the headmistress, but it is impossible to trust anyone (as it used to be during Voldwar I) and therefore the trio need to remain hidden at all times; or b) the Death Eaters have so much power by now that they have installed one of their ranks as headmaster/-mistress. I would not like to copy JK's making Snape headmaster, although I loved the idea, but I was wondering if we should have him return to Hogwarts with one of the other Death Eaters taking the head post. There are two things, which speak for Lucius Malfoy. One is that he used to be a Hogwarts governor, was always involved in political/ministry work, which seems to be part of the position, and the other is that this will give us lots and lots of possible Lucius-Draco interaction if we wish to include it. A setting, which is close to the situation in books one to six would provide continuity, but we need the danger of the trio being exposed at any minute here, I think.
  • If Snape is there, we (and most of all, the trio) will have to work around the problem of his Legilimency. This would be an excellent reason for Harry to learn Occlumency, I'd say.
  • The trio will now have to find out stuff about Ravenclaw house and Rowena Ravenclaw for guesses which item could have been used as a Horcrux. (Luna!) Does anyone know if the tiara was mentioned before DH? I seem to remember that it wasn't, but I don't trust my knowledge there.
  • If we have Library search scenes, we might want to consider including JK's "Tale of the Three Brothers" as a... cameo. Sort of. Only have it appear. One, because I heard somewhere that it is going to appear as a real book (?) and this would be our link to it, and two because I love cameos. :D
  • During the Christmas break, most students would probably leave the DE-infested castle. The trio could go off to hunt Horcruxes without people suspecting them. Their best chance, I think, is to first find out where Hufflepuff's Cup might be. All the other clues are too vague.
  • We'll need to write down what the textbooks/library books/whichever books the trio find have to say on Horcruxes. This gives us a fixed system we can use at all times and we can use the individual bits in the story, if we feel the readers need to hear them explicitly. For the latter purpose, we might decide to write some parts in Early Modern English or so, but if we do, we should translate them in retrospect.
Outside Hogwarts - Christmas Break
  • Huffie's Cup is being destroyed.
  • Possibly a journey to Albania (over Charlie - Romania?) to find bit of Ravenclaw's.
  • At this point in the story, Harry's brain/piece of LV's soul should start troubling him one way or the other. The way I would like the main plot to go, each freed piece of LV's soul would reunite with the other pieces - not necessarily the ones in LV's body. They would rather distribute evenly on all the soul pieces there still are. That way, LV inside Harry can get stronger with every Horcrux we destroy.
Hogwarts Again
  • The beginning of the new term will include the last Hocrux's story. It should be at Hogwarts, really, for convenience reasons, but it needn't be. I very much favour Peeves here, because it gives us the opportunity to go into both, the topic of ghosts and death again, as well as into the topic of teenager angst, bullying at Hogwarts, etc.
  • We might possibly include a reluctance to remove the Horcrux for some sort of ethical reason, which I haven't thought through yet. It's just an option.
  • When third Horcrux is destroyed, the trio should begin to realise what is happening to Harry. Perhaps only vaguely.
  • At some point, the trio need to find that the last Horcrus has something to do with Harry, who searches for clues in his close surroundings and own past. This leadas him to think that he will have to go to Godric's Hollow.
  • We need at least one encounter with Snape, I think, before this point.
Godric's Hollow
  • Setting of what appears to be the final battle.
  • Harry meets LV - they are very alike by now because Harry's personality is suppressed by the weight of LV's soul. We might include split personality stuff if we want to.
  • We might have some kind of flashback to "TEH night at Godric's Hollow when L&J died.
Hogwarts Again

  • Two options. We either put so much stuff into the previous sections that the Harry-Voldie fight mentioned marks the final stage of the book, OR we pretend that we meant it this way and actually continue with the story, sort of in "all was well fashion" only to have Voldie return ("Bwahaha! I have EIGHT Horcruxes!"). That would mean we could end the book with a fight beyond an average fantasy book final battle feeling. For example, Voldemort is thwarted by the strength of all four houses united (aka. four people performing a binding spell or something).
  • I vote we don't have an epilogue but let our final chapter be the final chapter. It would also be awesome if we would actually end our book on "scar", as JK originally planned for her epilogue.

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The Weasleys

A family's development. I think this deserves an extra thread, partly because it gives me the chance to advertise a new idea of mine.

I think we all agree that the family won't - can't remain unblemished by the end of this war. Someone needs to either die or betray the others, possibly even more than one. Families get split in wars, either by death or by opinions. I collected some ideas for each member of the family - what could happen to them, etc. Just ideas. Feel free to comment and share your own.

Horcrux Items

I noticed that, although we had some discussion on the topic already and Mary apparently did extensive research on the topic, we do not have a thread yet, which deals with the subject of which items we want to be Horcruxes.

Now, according to Dumbledore we used to have 6 Horcruxes + one piece of soul inside Voldemort. Subtracting the diary (1), the Gaunt Ring (2), and Slytherin's Locket (3) this leaves us with three objects we will still have to find. Dumbledore assumes that it will be one item for one of the three remaining founders. If we act logical, though, we can decide to go against any of these propositions. Indeed, I suggest we go against at least one of them.


leaves space for list of suggested Horcruxes



Now, my suggestions for Horcruxes are as follows:

Let the Hufflepuff cup be a red herring, after which Harry chases but finds nothing. He needs to do some research on the founders anyway and will have to find out stuff... leftovers... a talking mirror, perhaps? (This is stolen from your notes, Mary. I like the idea of a talking mirror being more than just a random background device)

Either Peeves himself (being more solid than normal ghosts) or his dead body (somewhere, mummy-like preserved or so) and this being the reason or part of the reason for his foul character

Something of Snape's, which was created after the DL's resurrection. Anything - a book, a hat, a hula loop, or whatever. So that we create a necessity for Harry to contact him. If we don't need that necessity, we can freely choose another Death Eater if we want to.

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Open Questions from Books 1 - 6

There are tons, but here is a summary of suggestions that were made in previous discussions:

General
* Have a relation between the question of ghosts, Dementors, the Horcruxes, and possibly the veil through which Sirius disappeared
* The Purebloods actually have a case: cooperation with Muggles is ba-a-a-ad for some reason or the other.
    Couples
    * Ron and Hermione can only happen if Ron grows up.
   
* Harry and Ginny either need to be much better justified (add her to the trio hunting the Horcruxes?) or dropped altogether. Harry does NOT need a romantic interest.
   
* IF Tonks has a baby straight away, let Lupin stay at home and care for the child, since he is out of job anyway and it seems sensible that one parent should stay and look after their child.

1976 - Sixth Year Shrieking Shack Incident

* James never actually saved Snape from Lupin in their sixth year. It was vice versa and James just turned the story around.
*Snape knew of Lupin's identity beforehand and saw Sirius entering the tunnel to the Shrieking Shack, then went to follow him, after which James (genuinely) tried to save him.

THE Night at Godric's Hollow
* Lily protected Harry using actual magic, not just her motherly instinct. Possibly in co-work with Snape. She sacrificed something for this and/or Harry gained something, which he is going to lose if he rids the world of Voldemort (a piece of the DL's soul, for instance).

Main Plot
* Make Dumbledore's weakness be that it was he who commissioned Snape to tell Voldemort the first part of the Prophecy, in an attempt to flush out Lord Voldemort. / Snape is Dumbledore's man already when the Prophecy is given.
* DD did not know about the Unbrekable Vow because Snape couldn't bring himself to tell the headmaster about it. When he was facing DD on top of the Astronomy Tower, though, DD decided spontaneously that the situation was lost and that Snape would have to kill him in order for his cover not to be blown. He gave the order via Legilimency in the two seconds in which Snape looks at DD with what Harry interprets as hatred.
* Kill Voldemort before destroying his Horcruxes. That at least means he doesn't linger.

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Dumbledore

How much emphasis do we want to or need to put on his character? He is obviously the mentor figure who used to provide a hidey hole for Harry to creep into whenever it got too dangerous and/or complicated, but JK turns him into much more in the course of Deathly Hallows.

How much of a backstory do we want to give him? Are we going to use it and if so, how?

We should decide which house he used to be in.
* Gryffindor? - Canon suggests it.
* Ravenclaw? - He is extremely clever. He also normally acts too late rather than too quickly, which is a Ravenclaw characteristic. He also has a Ravenclaw sense of humour rather than a Gryffindor one.
* Hufflepuff? Disregarding Deathly Hallows, I would say he is very loyal and certainly a good friend. But there really isn't much that suggests Hufflepuff for Dumbledore.

* Slytherin? - He does many things, which we originally thought typical for Voldemort. He must be ambitious to become Headmaster of Hogwarts. He pursues his ends without regarding the means, even before Deathly Hallows. JK makes us believe that only Slytherins and Gryffindors play main character roles in real life, which would qualify Dumbledore for one of the two. Rather Slytherin than Gryffindor, though, by means of characterisation.

* Idea: "Make Dumbledore's weakness be that it was he who commissioned Snape to tell Voldemort the first part of the Prophecy, in an attempt to flush out Lord Voldemort."

* Idea: Make Dumbledore's fad of never telling anyone anything be his main flaw. We'd need a lot of confusion and insecurity after his death and Harry's Horcrux quest seriously inhibited because of it. 

*Quote Crocky in other thread: "Oookay, I'm rambling. I think we need to show rather than tell how something Harry believed was false. JK chose to make DD flawed (while keeping him in the "wise, old mentor" position nevertheless). Personally, I would like to see a flawed Dumbledore, but not as much and not as lengthy as JK did in DH. One, profound thing would be enough and I would favour if his theory on Voldie and the Horcruxes were totally off somehow. It is just too much that he foresaw LV's actions and intentions to the last moment. We'll never get away from the "wise old man with a long, white beard is going to turn everything all right" notion (which Medieval Christianity's view of God has implanted in our thinking) if we don't actively break through it."

Snape's parents

Here's a topic Mary addressed a while ago:

Was Eileen a pure-blood? Why did she marry a Muggle? Was Severus abused or neglected as a child? Did his father abandon the family? Was he raised by his magical grandparents? Was he raised to believe in pureblood supremecy?

This belongs in the Snape's background category, but what we also need to think about is: how does the wizarding society actually work? We have a heap of pureblood families thinking themselves supreme because of (probably amended and/or faked) family trees.
How many generations does such a tree have to go back to make you a pureblood? One doesn't seem to be enough, does it, or Harry would count as a pureblood. The term alone seems to be used for a certain type of "aristocrat" wizarding family who lives in manors and keeps House-Elves.

Neville

He is sort of part of the OotP prophecy. Is he going to receive an important role? If so, which? Ideas?

Also, in this context: are there people who actually do not have enough magic to attend Hogwarts? Neville says that's what he feared might be the case with him before he went to Hogwarts. Would it be possible?