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Unpopular fandom musings...

I have reached the point where I either a) roll my eyes or b)cringe when I see a fic with the AS/S pairing.

The latter occurs usually when the fic happens to already have H/D. It doesn't mean I won't read the fic - I'll read it but try to focus as little as possible on Harry and Draco's kids. If the main focus is AS/S I don't read it.

Initially when the last book got leaked, I hated the epilogue as much as the next person and the AS/S ship was awesome crack. But even before I warmed up to the epilogue, the ship lost its sparkle.

I don't know why exactly. In a lot of ways it felt like a poor imitation of H/D fics. The cliches had been done before and better. Or peeps used Albus and Scorpius as Harry and Draco versions 2.0 who were friends. I got tired of it pretty quickly.

But ultimately though, it was the dynamics. I found it hard to imagine Albus and Scorpius becoming BFFs - which seems to be the popular opinion in fandom. I really don't see them as best of friends or enemies at all but rather, something in between. Perhaps just casual acquaintances. Unless there a reason for the Potters and Scorpius to *click* I think true friendship would take time (especially when there's no near death experiences to bond them) and based on their parent's history they might just steer clear of each other...

The one exception could be James though. He seems like the sort who would cross the line and probably get in Scorpius' face simply because of their family history. It wouldn't really be spiteful -James would probably just enjoy geting a rise out of Scorpius. But I can also see Scorpius, who might be a little more level headed than his father, giving as good as he gets. It's a dynamic that works for me and far more than AS/S.

My response to Calanthe's poll in regards to Al's and Scorpius' characters was this:

Character wise, I do see Scorpius as more level headed/balanced than Draco in the sense that he doesn't prattle on about his family before he even gets to hogwarts. Of course, I do expect him to have his own...quirks? *shrugs* He might have a chip on his shoulder from the way his family is viewed (post-war, I don't think the Malfoys ever regain the respect/status they had before)

Based on the epilogue, I do kinda see Al as the quieter of the two Potter boys - that could change as he matures, but unless there's a catalyst for that, I think time (and familiarity with individuals) would be the only thing to get him out of his shell. Still that doesn't mean he doesn't have his own sense of humor :)

Ultimately, I can see more sparks between James and Scorpius than Al and Scorpius - and the fic that drives that point home is Scorpius Malfoy's Very Bad Week.

I know I'm stepping on a lot of toes, since there are so many peeps who just adore AS/S - just needed to get this out though. The ship feels so hyped and I don't get it. When I loved it, it was a crack!ship which I didn't take seriously, and now when I read serious takes on it, I don't quite embrace the characterizations or dynamics.
Hey, you're allowed to have your opinion. :P Personally I kind of like as/s but I agree with you -- the dynamics between them don't exactly work right a lot of the time.
Oh I definitely know that - still, if I were to see a post where a person hated H/D, I'd want to jump in and point out my own opinions XD

Peeps in the AS/S ship seem to be in it for different things - some mainly for the crack and others for a more serious relationship. Sure, this happens with all ships/pairings but I've found it hard to believe the characterizations in AS/S fics a lot of the time and dynamics just never click with me (they don't feel like how I see Al/Scorp)
I agree that AS/S can be written like H/D with different names, but it's not always done like that.
I think true friendship would take time
Near death experiences help, but think of how friendships are at 11. I mean, it's a matter of progression. They don't start saving each other's life at 11, but this doesn't mean that for them, their friendship isn't real. And in time, that can get more serious.

I'm not trying to say you're wrong, or to change you into an AS/S shipper, but I know for certain that there are some very interesting fics coming up and I think they're worth a chance.
My major issue is when authors take Al and Scorpius and make them automatic BFFs. I need to see them become friends to believe it, I think. It's something I can't take for granted.

Based on their family history I can see point where they would come to blows because of assumptions/opinions of each other's families.

It's a lot like with H/D where I do not embrace the relationship unless I see how they get there. I need to see how the friendship occurs and friendship doesn't always mean romantic love, so for me I need to see how a) they become friends in the first place (or enemies or whatever) and b) how they become romantically involved. A lot of the time I find the developments too easy/automatic and have a hard time believing them.
I have to say that it really isn't my cup of tea either. My reasons are different, and probably more eccentric.

If I had a boyfriend who's mother or father fell in love with mine I would be grossed out of my skull. Like, ew. (And of course I'm a die-hard D/H shipper so of course they will be together in my final versions). I could see maybe at the most Albus and Scorp being BFF's or stepbrothers, but lovers? No.

I am also not a huge fan of school age boy-love. I like how my favorite fandom has mostly matured and I can read adult stories about adults. I don't want to take a step back to and read more about blushing virgins and angry/disappointed parents in the halls of Hogwarts.
There is always the possibility for AS/S with H/D but yeah, them not batting an eye at their fathers hooking up? I don't believe that. They would have to work out their own issues about it on some level.

The reason Scorpius' Very Bad Week clicked with me was 'cause it didn't feel like it had all been done before. The shiny was still there. I'm of the opinion than any cliche can click with peeps - the author just need to work at developing it so it doesn't feel trite.
I adored Scorpius Malfoy's Very Bad Week; I really do enjoy that style of writng and the insight into their characters.

I also wanted to squee about maederr's(sp) fic The Prisoner. Wonderful fic: the plot, the humour, the originality and the building up of Beraht and Dieter's relationship. Why isn't this person published??

So, thank you once again for reccing her fic. ♥
I am sorry, but I find it incredibly amusing that people are actually arguing over characters who don't exist except for having been named in canon. We don't even know enough about the Potter kids to draw any conclusions about their actual character traits, let alone about Scorpius Malfoy. This is why I hate next gen fic. It's basically original fic, character-wise, because there's ZERO canon to go on.

I do agree that AS/S is the Diet Coke of Harry/Draco.
Lol, yet it doesn't stop fandom from forming an idea about certain characters XD E.g. Blaise's characterization before HBP. None of our opinions really have a leg to stand on but I can't help but feel tired when I come across the same cliche appearing in so many fics - especially of the H/D variety.

Agree with that comparison, especially since I don't drink Diet Coke XD
Yay, AS/S discussion is the best kind :D

Like you, I can't stand the BFF thing. I wrote one BFF!AS/S fic and facepalmed when I read it over. It's nice in theory, but when it's been done 482342 times, it loses its appeal. I see them starting out as acquaintances, because honestly, the chances of that are way higher than them being inseparable right off the bat. I just don't see an instant Harry/Ron friendship occurring between them.

Characterisation-wise, I think Scorpius would be fun-loving and somewhat immature -- NOT the quiet bookworm that everything seems to have decided on. I see Draco as being a very protective father because he'd want to prevent his son from making the same mistakes he made, and Scorpius, in turn, would rebel by doing whatever the hell he wants.

My Al is, like you said, the quieter of the Potter boys. Judging from his behaviour in the epilogue (when he freaked out at the thought of being put in Slytherin), he's emotional and possibly even a control freak, but he doesn't show it in front of other people. (I'm actually writing a fic about control!freak!Al right now, and he's all sorts of awesome ♥) That's why I think he and Scorpius would go well together. They're opposites, but in a way that wouldn't spark instant hatred between them.

To be honest, I love Scorpius/anyone. snegurochka_lee's fic is awesome and totally believable. I don't have any reservations against James/Scorpius. I actually agree that it makes for more interesting fic than AS/S. As a writer, though, I like AS/S better because in my mind, Al is a more interesting character :)

Edited at 2008-06-01 07:36 pm (UTC)

Yes, yes, yes. That is exactly what I'm getting at. It's been done so often and the worst thing is, everytime I read it, I could take the AS/S from one fic and put them in another and they are so interchangable that it make me want to scream.

With Harry/Ron, they had Draco as a common enemy uniting them. Unless peeps were to bastardize James so Scorpius were to team up with Scorpius against his own brother, I'm not seeing the immediate bonding either.

I do like your interpretation of Scorpius and it's something I could def see. I'd love it if there were more variety like that with AS/S fics in general.

I'm interested in Scorpius because the Malfoys are my favorite family in HP and their history is so rich with detail. I wouldn't mind seeing him with pretty much anyone really. Both Al and James could be viewed as the Harry-that-never-was - one being quiter and less sure, the other more bratty and perhaps spoilt. In that sense I'm more interested in James' development probably...
I think it simply comes down to what you like, and what you don't like. :) If you've formed certain characterizations of Albus and Scorpius inside your head, and they don't work well together, then they just don't work well for you. But since we're really given brand new characters in the epilogue with clean slates and blank canvases, a lot of people characterize them in a way that makes the pairing work. What's really difficult about it is that you can characterize them however you want. Personally, I like AS/S, but only when I find a fic in which they are like my Albus and Scorpius. So far, I've only found one I'll read.

Another thing that's difficult is indeed the cliches the pairing has already got. Albus is basically little Harry. And Scorpius is the quiet bookworm. But I think it's also definitely a cliche in fandom that James is loud and rebellious. We're not given any canon, so we've made our own and everyone just uses it. How do we really know these characters from the two seconds we see of them in the ep?

I think it mainly comes down to preference, which is obvious. I don't understand Snarry. In fact, it squicks me, but some people love it. I think the main reason I like AS/S is because they look like Harry and Draco, and the dynamics to work out when their fathers are involved are interesting to me - not that I've see a lot of that. And I don't like Scorpius/James because I detest Ron/Draco and James is tall and has red hair in my head. :\ So, yeah, just personal preference. :D
That's the thing. It seems like the general AS/S ship follows the auto-BFF cliche and it feels like peeps assume that of course the two boys are going to hit it off. Sure I have preferences on what I like to read with H/D but as long as its characterized well and the dynamics are really done in depth, my faves are pretty diverse.

In that sense, I'm not seeing it so much in the AS/S ship - the development to friends and then lovers just feels...trite.

I read the first few chaps of Scoradh's Road Less Travelled fic (before stopping and waiting for it to be completed) and knew that while the characterization wasn't how I saw it in my head, I'll probably enjoy the fic because she's really thought of the characterization and dynamics.

I more likely to read Snaco (Snape/Draco) than Snarry (which doesn't click for me). I have never seen James as a red head - his temperment was compared to his grandfather (and no physical description given) so I did see him as a brunette, making Lilly the only red head. As a red head, I would connect him more to Fred or George than to Ron...that's just how I see it in my head XD He grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth which is why I see him as being very similar to his grandfather. But that's just his environment - his character itself could be rather different and I wouldn't mind reading that at all.

I think that's my issue - I want more variety and I'm not really getting that with the AS/S ship - it feels, like its all been done before, so I'd like to see peeps try something different or try alternative next gen pairings instead.
Hmmm, I find myself nodding here. I don't avoid reading AS/S fics, but it is hard to find good ones. I think it's because there's just not enough in canon to make them believable canon characters for the purpose of fanfic. I also don't think they're likely to be best friends. I think James/Scorpius, James/Teddy, Teddy/Scorpius, or even Hugo/Scorpius (which I put in my last HD_Hols fic, On Mid-Winter's Day) are far more interesting as pairings.
The next gen characters seem to be dismissed more often than not as original characters - and that we can't really get characterization down when we know so little. But I don't know. Does knowing so little about characters make them any less than major ones like the Trio? IMO, good fic is good fic. I just want to have some emotional investment/interest in the characters or their dynamics. I don't have it for AS/S but on the other hand J/S, J/T, T/S and H/S seem to have more possibilities because they aren't such a straight jump from H/D. It forces peeps out of their comfort zone if they are coming from the H/D ship at least.

As the biggest next gen ship (most likely), I would have liked it if there was more variety in the way they're characterized. The auto-BFF thing got old super fast *sigh*
What, not even The Road Less Treveled and sequel, by Scoradh? A crime! A crime I tell you! :)))

I don't understand how we can seriously talk about Albus's or Scorpius's or James's characterisation when all we know about them is, well, basically nill :) When you say that James is more suitable for Scorpius, it makes me laugh 'cos honestly, he's as suitable as Albus or Hugo Weasley or any other of the brood. It's all up to the writer what they fill the blank with, IMO. It's another question that the majority of authors aren't very creative with them. But then again, the majority of HD fics aren't readable either :/

I don't much like next gen characters when they are just another version of HD, or an excuse for the author to write schoolboys HD AS/S again.

But they aren't quite OCs either. We know their family history, which means quite a bit more context than for true OCs.

So no, I don't like it when Albus is just another version of Harry or Scorpius, another version of Draco. But I'm ok with cliché fics, as long as there's something to remember.
(I'm waiting till the sequel is complete and then I'll probably try reading it all at a stretch XD)

When in comes to minor characters, we still have fics in fandom that take a few bits of information and come up with an identity for them. We see a lot of stereotypes that way, and I guess my issue was the cliches in the AS/S ship.

Yeah, peeps can pair them up with pretty much anybody. I still find myself left cold when it comes to the dynamics we see in AS/S fics. And while H/D has an amazing amount of crap we do have a lot more variety in characterization too. The AS/S ship is most likely the biggest out of the next gen ships, yet nearly all the fics seem to follow very similar paths.

I admit that most of my favorite fics are probably full of cliches but I loved them for the way they not only shaped the characters but also developed the relationship so I could see the two main peeps become friends (or enemies) and then lovers. I don't seem to see that development in the AS/S ship apart from a few authors.
I kind of see your point there. I think the thing that attracts people to the ship is that there is little to base their character on, but at the same time we have this very thin frame. It's like original fic within a fanfic context? Does that make any sense? I don't like it when its like H/D 2.0 because you're right, H/D writers have done it better.

On the other hand, I'm open to the pairing and while I haven't found more than a few fics that I felt really meant something to me, there is a lot of potential. Plus, it is a very new ship compared to H/D.

On the other hand, I loved Scorpius Malfoy's Very Bad Week! There needs to be more fic like that!

the_ass_fest has started posting and while, I know, you aren't a fan of the pairing I have a feeling there may be a fic or two in there that you may find readable at least:)
*snort* I have a very, very shallow reason why I don't like James/Scorpius: red hair is just a total turn off for me. (As are freckles, so I try to forget it quickly when Al is described having them.) But you're right. AS/S, while there are good fics in that pairing, is just like a revamp for H/D. I often catch myself substituting Harry and Draco for Al and Scorpius in my mind when I read AS/S fics and then don't remember later what was the pairing. H/D=is and will always remain my OTP.
What you need is a nice A/SS rec to revive your affection for the ship :D No, really, I have one! The fic just posted on the A/SS fest - the rules of Malfoy Manor - is delightful. It's hilariously funny, it gently mocks the ship cliches, and has a wonderful relationship between Lucius and Draco. Plus it's under 3,000 words :D Go on, you know you want to!
I totally agree! Plus AS/S & H/D in the same fic totally squicks me.

I avoid those fics completely and if I sense a fic is going down that route, I hit the back button pronto!