More Than a Fanfic

Over the past two years, I have become obsessed with the Marauders, a branch of the Harry Potter fandom.

More+Than+a+Fanfic

by Annie McShane, Design and Copy Editor

Picture this: It is fall of 2020. You are scrolling through your TikTok for you page which is filled with videos under #dracotok when you come across an edit for a Harry Potter movie you’ve never heard of. After some scrolling through the comments, you discover that this is not an edit for a movie, but something you never would have expected: a fanfiction. 

When I first discovered “All the Young Dudes” (ATYD), a fanfiction about the Marauders— the generation of Harry Potter’s parents— I was blown away. I had read fanfiction before, but never anything like this. The fascinating thing about ATYD is that it’s a 500,000-word story about people who have minimal mention in the actual canon of Harry Potter. Mskingbean89, the author of the fanfiction who’s real identity is unknown, managed to fill in all of the details of the previously very general description of these characters. I was in awe, and immediately became obsessed. 

Not only did ATYD grab my attention because of the impressive detail that was crafted with so little to base it on, but it also caught me with the amazing characters that I have grown to love so much. ATYD, along with other fanfictions about this generation have given so much depth to characters that don’t get a lot of development in the Harry Potter series. Characters like Harry’s parents, Lily Evans and James Potter, have more of a story than just their death, which is one of the only things that we learn about them from the books. In addition, readers of ATYD learn about the youth of characters like Sirius Black and Remus Lupin that we only know as adults in the series. This new perspective of these people completely changed my answer for who my favorite Harry Potter character is. 

In addition to affecting my opinions about Harry Potter, ATYD affected various things in my life, like my music taste. The fanfiction itself is named after a Mott the Hoople song by the same title. I have listened to this song countless times, and it is in the soundtrack for the movie “Minions: the Rise of Gru.” When I was in theaters watching that movie and “All the Young Dudes” started playing, I immediately burst into tears. In addition to becoming a fan of that song, I was influenced by the music taste of Remus Lupin, whose point of view we read the story from. Remus is an avid listener of David Bowie. Because of Remus, I too became a Bowie fan, and whenever I hear songs like “Starman” or “Changes” in public, I freak out. There are many things, more than just music, that remind me of the Marauders. For example, the other day I was driving on State Line and a deer crossed the street right in front of me. I immediately started crying because James and Lily’s patronuses are both deer. Instances like this really showcase how affected I am by these characters who are literally from a fanfiction. 

Although I love the music referenced in the story and the new perspective that it has given me on my favorite characters, my favorite things about the marauders fandom is the fact that it is ever changing and always growing. There are constantly new fanfictions being written about the marauders, and countless new fancasts being used for edits on TikTok every day. The fact that there is so little canon information about these characters means that the perception of them is really up to interpretation, which is something that I really love. I can have my own idea of what these characters are like, which makes them so much more personal and interesting.

Even though the marauders fandom is based solely on background characters from the Harry Potter series, it has forever changed me. I love these characters so dearly, and I will always hold ATYD, the fanfiction that introduced me to my favorite fandom, close to my heart.