From Fan History Wiki
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The central story arc concerns Harry's struggle against the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents in his quest to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people (Muggles). Several successful derivative films, video games and other themed merchandise have been based upon the series.
The first fan fiction did not arrive until 1999. On September 4, 1999, "Harry Potter and the Man of Unknown" by Gypsy became the first Harry Potter fan fiction posted to FanFiction.Net, what was to become the largest archive of Harry Potter fan fiction on the net, reaching over 250,000 stories by June of 2006 and 431,000 stories by November of 2009.
The Harry Potter fan fiction community redefined what a large on-line community meant. Prior to this, the largest community was the X-Files community. The size, shape and actions of the community would be defined by the sheer number of new people who came into the fan fiction community, shaping it in their own ways. The relative access to youthful members as a large component of the community with an educated elite at the top helped set a stage for a fandom that would be driven by a cult of personality, a cult whose size and scope had never been seen in fandom before.
Because her publishers feared that boys would not read a book series if they knew it was written by a woman, Murray went by the pseudonym "J.K. Rowling."
Some parts of the Harry Potter fan fiction community consider the movies to be canon. Some do not. Murray's interviews and posts on her website are frequently considered to be part of the canon as they help explain things, such as what the name "Ginny" is short for. However, some fans say they would rather she explain these things within the canonical books and do not consider Murray's interviews and or her website canon. These fans sometimes cite inconsistencies in her interviews, such as differences between book evidence for the Weasley children's ages and her own estimates presented in interviews.
The following are terms that have been used in the Harry Potter fan fiction community:
- Angst is a piece of fan fiction that is emotionally wrenching or a piece where a character deals with an emotionally distressing situation. In certain fandoms, angst has a derogatory over tone as it compares to melodrama. In this context, this term is often used in the Harry Potter fandom. The use of the term predates 1997.
- Dark! is a name prefix that tells the reader that the story or characterization is a dark one. An example would be Dark!Harry. In this case, the story or characterization discussion would focus and focus on Harry Potter in dark way.
- Dubcon refers to fan fiction which features stories where there are dubious consent issues.
- Slash - homosexual relationship. Slash fanfiction (Slashfic) is VERY common in Harry Potter, some famous pairings being Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter and Severus Snape, etc. None of these pairings are true to canon, however. Unless, that is, you accept Murray's interviews as canon, in which case Dumbledore/Grindewald may be considered canonical.
- Twincest refers to an incestuous relationship between twins, such as between Fred and George.
- Hurt/Comfort refers a story in which the story tension rides on one or more of the characters getting badly hurt, followed by the other comforting them.
Fan fiction policy and history
Interviews with the author
In an interview found on Scholastic's web site, Murrays is quoted as saying the following about fan fiction based on the Harry Potter books: "I've read some of it. I find it very flattering that people love the characters that much." 
In an interview found on Barnes & Nobles's web site dated September 8, 1999, Murray is quoted as saying the following about fan fiction based on the Harry Potter books: "Yes, I do. And I have been staggered by the response. I only recently found the web pages devoted to Harry, and it was like Christmas -- Christmas in August." 
In another interview dated October 20, 2000 found on Barnes & Nobles's web site, Murray is once again quoted regarding fan fiction:
- Hello, I would like to know if you ever read any Harry Potter fan fiction on the Web.
- I have read some, and I've been very flattered to see how absorbed people are in the world.
Murray mentioned dealing with fan mail in a July 2000 interview with Newsweek. The interviewer, Malcom Jones, asked her if she answered her fan mail. Murray replied with the following:
- Yeah. I have help now. But letters get - I don't know if I should actually say this in NEWSWEEK. I have a set of criteria for letters I want to see personally, so they will get filtered and they will get handwritten replies. I get letters from children addressed to Professor Dumbledore [headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the books' setting], and it's not a joke, begging to be let into Hogwarts, and some of them are really sad. Because they want it to be true so badly they've convinced themselves it's true. So those are some that get pulled. 
Fan sites and the Internet are mentioned in an interview in the fall of 2000 with Murray by the BBC. She said:
- The Internet! Twice I've been on the internet. Friends of mine were telling me what's on there and I'd never gone looking before. First time, I thought I was never coming back, it's too scary. Some of the stuff that's out there is very weird. Second time I went in there someone had set up an unofficial fan site where you can be sorted, they have a Sorting Hat, and I was Hufflepuff. I wasn't that pleased! If anyone's meant to be Griffyndor, it's me. 
This acceptance of Harry Potter fan fiction seems be okay with Scholastic. Arthur Levine, a co-editor of the fourth Harry Potter book, said in an interview for USA Today that is is "just fantastic" and "It's the highest compliment you could possibly pay to a work of imaginative fiction that the reader would be so involved and feel so much a part of the world of a book that they would want to go there and stretch their imagination." 
Warner Brothers, who owns the copyright to much of the Harry Potter franchise, is not always as kind. (For more information on who really owns, click here. JK Rowlings apparently abandoned her application.)They have gone after people who have used Harry Potter on their web sites and aggressively fought for the rights to domains related to Harry Potter. This has shut down a few Harry Potter fan sites with some fan fiction. There has been no real effort on the part of Warner Brothers to seek to put an end to Harry Potter fan fiction.
In an article titled "When HarryTM Met Selling" in Chico News and Review dated November 15, 2001, the idea that Warner Brothers won't go after fans writing slash is confirmed when it says:
- A pornographic fan fiction chain email has already criss-crossed the nation (A fan called only C-ko described Harry and his enemy Draco getting ... carried away). Rumor has it that the new corporate folk want to clamp down on the more erotically inclined Harry Potter fans on-line. But surely they'll never be so foolish as to threaten the vast self-perpetuating viral marketing machine that is their on-line fan culture. 
Rediff Guide to the Net confirms the concept that Warner Brother has taken a negative view of Harry Potter slash but have, so far, taken no action in an article titled "The Secret Life of Harry Potter" dated December 19, 2001. 
In an article from the San Francisco Chronicle dated November 18, 2001, Harry Potter WB related executives released a statement regarding Harry Potter fan fiction:
- "It is not only our legal obligation, but also our moral obligation to protect the integrity of our intellectual properties," the statement says. "This is especially true in the case of indecent infringement of any icon whose target audience is children." 
- Although Warner Bros. goes on to declare its commitment to "protecting First Amendment rights," it appears that billable hours are about to start piling up. 
- "We are considering all our options," the statement concludes.
For general information regarding Harry Potter law suits and other activities by Warner Brothers and Nancy Stouffer not referencing fan fiction, please see HPFGU Lawsuits FAQ.
- Obviously, as said above, I removed the art anyway, despite what I said in my response. I posted to speculate on the possible reasons for them deciding my age statement was inadequate, as well as touching on the fact that, according to this post by khohen1, Warner Bros themselves sent a Cease and Desist to LJ regarding a locked post on PP. Chances are fairly high that their C&D was regarding my post.
- Case and point: Today they received something along the lines of cease and desist from Warner Bros, regarding a LOCKED post, that is not open to the public. WB was obviously informed of said illegal/iffy content by someone in the community who is probably there acting as a troll to stir shit up. I know this has happened before, to other communities, most notably the media sharing communities.
- This is why this stuff is happening, you guys. If us LJers could keep quiet and not stir shit up that doesn't need to be stirred, LJ could continue to blithely ignore us and let us on our merry way. It's when we start turning on ourselves that we bring the heat down on us." 
The second confirmation said:
- She didnt' actually give me details, her point in telling me this was that no, it's not just the fringe radical groups that are noticing this kind of stuff, there are actual big corporations that literally spend millions of dollars a year on lawyers that deal with this specific kind of crap, that do contact LJ about stuff like this. And also to highlight the point that it's the people within our own ranks that are shitting on our parade. THAT is why LJ is having to pay attention, and honestly? Not blaming them there. 
- Slash porn
- LAWYERS for the promoter of the Harry Potter films are clamping down on so-called 'slash porn' featuring the world-famous boy wizard.
- It is estimated that there are more than 700 websites worldwide publishing lurid homosexual tales about the lead character in the best-selling books by JK Rowling.
- Mainly penned by women, the genre has seen Harry Potter caught in flagrant with a variety of other males featured in the series.
- The authors steadfastly refuse to accept that their work is pornography, claiming instead it is an art form.
- But now websites used by the 'slash porn' writers are being closed down after legal warnings.
- The bizarre craze started about five years ago in the United States but it has now become such a huge global problem that a decision has been made to act.
- But the move to shut down the sites has not been universally welcomed.
- One online contributor recently wrote: "Some Harry Potter fans have had, for a long time, those kind of fantasies about the characters.
- "Slash fans are not new nor rare. I understand that it goes against some policies to publish this kind of stuff but, again, people are allowed to have their own fantasies.
- "If they can't put them on this website they'll just start one of their own."
- A spokesman for AOL Time Warner, which owns the film rights to Harry Potter and which has been instrumental in cracking down on 'slash porn', said they were determined to maintain their character's image.
- He added that it was their "moral obligation" to act: "This is especially true in the case of indecent infringement of any icon whose target audience is children."
Based on keyword searching for "harry potter," more women than men are using search engines to look for Harry Potter information on the Internet.
Based on keyword searching for "harry potter slash," more men than women are using search engines to look for that material.
The Harry Potter fan fiction community tends to not deal much with babies in the present timeline for most heterosexual pairings. Characters like Ron and Hermione might have children but only after they age to a time when they can give consent. In that case, the babies don't tend act as plot devises to bring characters together but to show a committment as a couple, in a pre-existing relationship. The reader is generally left to understand that the pair is a given for the story, with out a back story needing to be established.
Exceptions to that is the Snape/Harry (Snarry) and Harry/Draco (Drarry) pairings. These pairings are frequently the subject of mpreg, although mpreg is used as a plot device for other slash pairings. It is frequently used in humor or angst in stories.
- The first Harry Potter book was published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury Publishing. The first edition had 500 hardback copies.
- On September 1, 1998, the first Harry Potter book was published in the United States. 
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released in the United Kingdom. 
- On October 15, 1998, FanFiction.Net was founded.
- In June 1999, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was published in the United States. 
- On July 8, 1999, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was published in the United Kingdom. 
- On September 4, 1999, "Harry Potter and the Man of Unknown" by Gypsy became the first Harry Potter fan fiction posted to FanFiction.Net, what was to become the largest archive of Harry Potter fan fiction on the net.
- In October 1999, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was published in the United States. 
- Harry Potter's Realm of Wizardy was an early Harry Potter fan fiction sites. It was created by Gypsy.
- On September 17, 1999, the Harry Potter for Growns Ups mailing list was founded. 
- The Great Shipper War started on Harry Potter for Growns Ups. 
- Gypsy's stories were discussed on Amazon.com's Harry Potter boards in 1999. 
- I remember Gypsy too, but I didn't actually read fic back then, I just read about it in the discussions over at Amazon.com's Harry Potter boards. That would be a fun chapter of fandom history to write on. The HP board at Amazon was huge. And then overnight, about a month or so before GoF came out, it vanished. No warning, no trace. All posts were lost, the members scattered, the-site-that-must-not-be-named refused to comment on exactly why the boards were pulled. 
- On February 3, 2000, the hpslash mailing list was founded.
- In July, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released worldwide. 
- On July 6, 2000, Salon.Com ran an article about Harry Potter. The article only briefly touched on fan fiction, but plugged Lori Summers's Paradigm of Uncertainty. 
- Priscilla Spencer wrote the “Harry Potter Mary Sue Litmus Test.”
- By August 2000, professional authors such as Peg Kerr had joined the Harry Potter fan fiction community. 
- On October 23, 2000, Majolique posted perhaps the first Snape/Harry fic, "Midnight Confessions". 
- In December, PotterWars was created to aid in a fan's legal defence. 
- Jenna's Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club was a popular site around 2000 in the Harry Potter fan fiction community.  Lar deSouza was a contributor, providing some excellent art work.
- In January 2001, rising tensions caused the HP4GU mailing list to split.
- On January 5, 2001, The Sugar Quill was opened. 
- On January 30, 2001, the mailing list Harry_Potter_Playground4Grownups was created. 
- In March, Harry Potter AuthorFic category was removed from FanFiction.Net, leading to the demise of authorfic.
- On March 25, 2001, the hpslash community was founded on LiveJournal. 
- harrypotterfanfiction.com was founded on May 9, 2001. 
- In June, Virtual Hogwarts OnLine (HOL) was founded. 
- On July 22, 2001, FictionAlley.Org, a fan fiction archive, opened. 
- During the fall of 2001, the Harry Potter fan fiction community started to suffer its first real fractures. Prior to this, almost everyone had used FanFiction.Net. While Fiction Alley filled some of the void, some parts of the fandom (such as the Snapeslashers) had already closed off from the rest of the fandom, and a number of redundant archives were created, allowing further sequestering based on friends and shipping preferences.
- During the fall and winter of 2001, the Harry Potter fandom received a large influx of media fen. By and large, these media fen congregated in Snape slash fandom, and specifically on the Snapeslash mailing list.  The new mediafen were largely congregated on LiveJournal. Many of these new media fen became part of the Snape/Harry pairing community. This community had just become popular, in a large part due to Telanu's "Tea" series.  It was this group of media fen who began to use the "smoosh" style pairing names, such as Snarry.
- On September 28, 2001, the mailing list WhenIKissedTheTeacher was founded. 
- In November, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released in theaters. 
- In November 2001, the Harry Potter fan fiction community would eventually get to a point where a large contingent of the fan base the works of several big name fans and their fanon universes to the original canon. 
- On December 18, 2001, Mooncalf coined the nickname “Pit of Voles” to describe FanFiction.Net. 
- This year was the start of the slash revolution on FanFiction.Net. 
- Hermione’s name begins to be shortened to Hr instead of H in order to differentiate her name in referring to pairings like H/D, as fandom became more slash centric. 
- The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club closed down.  
- Around 2001, places like SlashCity and many others would not host Harry Potter fan fiction because of the fear that they would receive a cease and desist letter from Warner Brothers. 
- Around 2001, Pokemon and Digimon fans were annoyed at Harry Potter fans for writing what they considered pedophilia fic. 
- On August 12, 2002, badfic community on LJ, was founded. 
- On September 12, 2002, FanFiction.Net banned all fan fiction rated NC-17 from their site. This left parts of the fannish community in turmoil as the fan fiction community has never been a cohesive group with a single group understanding of what those ratings meant. FanFiction.Net’s policy change said NC-17 was banned but the site took no action in defining what the difference between material rated R and NC-17 was. 
- On November 15, 2002, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released in theaters.
- On December 2, 2002, harrydraco was created. 
- Efforts were made to restrict access to adult materials after the Restricted Section was targeted with a cease and desist notice for their adult content. This event happened shortly after an article by The Scotsman newspaper which focused on this content.
- On January 13, 2003, RestrictedSection, a Harry Potter fan fiction site, received a cease and desist letter. The date on this letter erroneously read 2002. 
- www.psa.shadow-wrapped.net also received a cease and desist letter for adult Harry Potter content. (Chilling Effects)
- A search for “Harry Potter slash” on Google resulted in over 70,000 pages. 
- A survey was done at Montgomery Blair High School by a member of the school’s newspaper staff, finding that only five percent of students had heard of fan fiction. 
- Fandom_Wank faced a number of issues this year as it began to form into one of the most influential communities in fandom. The community was ToSed from LJ and Blurty, and briefly moved to Yahoo!Groups before finally finding a home at JournalFen. 
- Nimbus was held in July.
- In January, there was a British Harry Potter fan fiction conference, called Oxt00b. 
- In January 2003, the first Harry Potter slash zine was published. 
- In June, there was a another British con, called Punt00bage. 
- On June 21, 2003, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released.
- In September, the Harry/Ginny fan fiction site Gryffindor Tower closed. (fandomquibbler)
- On November 3, 2003, Pornish_Pixies was founded.
- By this time, general English language based message boards in Asian countries or for Asians living in English speaking countries started adding or having represented fan fiction communities. Many of these sites and boards were catering to younger writers between the ages of eleven and eighteen.
- In April, the Harry Potter fan fiction community discussed the issue of "Is the Harry Potter fan fiction community dying?" fandomquibbler)
- In June, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released in theaters.
- On July 21, 2004, hogwarts_elite was founded. 
- By 2004, a number of X-files fan fiction writers who were part of the "Yes Virginia" group of fan fiction authors had migrated to other fandoms, such as Harry Potter, bringing their traditions of machete beta reading with them.
- At Eclecticon 2004, many fandoms were represented with their own panels, including Harry potter.
- In February, a number of fan fiction sites received cease and desist letters from the Motion Picture Association of America, alleging trademark infringement and demanding that the sites stop using the MPAA rating system. A number of sites, including FanFiction.Net and FanDomination.Net, changed their ratings systems in response.
- In March, SkyHawke, an automated fan fiction archive with a large Harry Potter user base, banned all fan fiction with chan in response to a legal situation in Australia.
- In March, Charity Wank happened. 
- On July 16, 2005, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published.
- In June, the Harry Potter fan fiction community went through the Bad Penny debacle.
- Also in June, the 250000th Harry Potter fan fiction was added to FanFiction.Net.
- On February 15, 2007, the release date for The Deathly Hallows (the seventh book in the series) was announced for July 21, 2007.
- On March 28, 2007, the United States, United Kingdom, and adult UK book covers for The Deathly Hallows were released.
- On July 22, 2007, an American Republican party connected IP addressed blanked the Harry Potter page on Wikipedia and then left spoilers for the final book. 
- On August 4, 2007, Encyclopedia Dramatica added an article about Meyshi. 
- In October 2007, "Rowling sues to block book version of Harry Potter fan site" . The site being sued is the Harry Potter Lexicon.  
- On April 14, 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald ran an article called JK Rowling takes fan to court.
- On September 8, 2008, the courts ruled in favor of JK Rowling and Warner Brothers in the case they brought against the Harry Potter Lexicon and Steve Van Der Ark. 
- On November 1, 2008, Harry/Draco was slammed on the LiveJournal community sf_drama. 
- In early January 2009, the Gawker reported that LiveJournal had laid off 20 of its 28 staff members. They also characterized the site as being home to "troublesome clique of Harry Potter erotica writers, whose outré tastes ran afoul of LiveJournal's efforts to comply with U.S. child-pornography laws." 
- In June 2009, Harry Potter fans who tried to download the newest movie online before it had been released in theaters had their credit card numbers stolen.  According to Sky:
- Cybercriminals are planting links on blogging websites to tempt eager punters to watch the soon to be released Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for free.
- Clicking the link opens a new page where the Potter potty are apparently just a press of the mouse away from an early premiere.
- But first lovers of JK Rowling's fantastical creations are told they must download and install a "streamviewer" in order to watch it.
- Like a bad spell the streamweaver downloads "malware" which secretly records personal information such as passwords, and bank card numbers.
- These details are gathered by hackers often working for organised crime networks and sold on. 
This section needs more information.
Social Networking/Blog Sites
- In October 2007, the bebo group dracomionewedding was created. 
- In November 2007, the bebo group hermione-and-draco was created. 
- In January 2008, the Draco/Hermione bebo group HG-DM-Wedding was created. 
- In January 2008, the Draco/Hermione bebo group BEBO_5586708847 was created. 
- In June 2008, the Draco/Hermione bebo group dramione4ever was created. 
Parts of the Harry Potter LiveJournal community left LiveJournal in 2007 as a result of StrikeThrough and BoldThrough. This move was further helped by the sale of LiveJournal to a Russian company, SUP.
LiveJournal has played an important role in the Harry Potter fandom. Its growth was fueled by people transitioning from mailing lists to the service because of icons, the ability to customize pages, the ability to be more off topic. Some of the more influential Harry Potter LiveJournal communities include pornish pixies and hp_girlslash.
See Harry Potter LiveJournal communities for a list of Harry Potter LiveJournal communities and details regarding their specific histories. See Harry Potter LiveJournal timeline for a timeline of community creation dates.
See Harry Potter mailing lists for information on specific mailing list histories.
There was a small base for the Harry Potter fandom on usenet by 2000.
This section needs more information.
See Harry Potter fans.
- Harry Potter DeadJournal community size
- Harry Potter Inksome community size
- Harry Potter InsaneJournal community size
- Harry Potter Journalfen community size
- Harry Potter Scribbld community size
- Charlotte Lennox: http://www.journalfen.net/community/bad_penny/
- Chilling Effects: Fan Fiction. Retrieved April 28, 2005, from http://www.chillingeffects.org/fanfic/
- Fandomquibbler on LiveJournal.
See also Harry Potter bibliography.
|Learn more about the Harry Potter community by reading the information above. Add more to it by clicking the edit tab and writing more. Use the form to the left to start a new page and share your knowledge of Harry Potter history with others.|