beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
I was reading [archiveofourown.org profile] LullabyKnell's Harry Potter notfic/meta collection (and wishing someone would actually really WRITE some of these ideas, or expand what she's got, because some of them deserve EPIC fic treatments), and came across this bit of meta on Delphi from the Cursed Child. Fair warning, my knowledge of Cursed Child is entirely fandom osmosis and not much of that. (Let's be real. 95.5% of my HP knowledge comes from fandom osmosis--I've never read the books and I know I saw some of the movies in the theater but can't remember which ones, I'm really only in it for the fanfic.)

Anyway! [archiveofourown.org profile] LullabyKnell was reacting to an apparent trend in CC fanfic to make Delphi not actually Voldemort's kid, because someone polyjuiced into him to have sex with Bellatrix, and whoever that was is really Delphi's father. Delphi notes that:
if Delphi was conceived after Bellatrix’s breakout from Azkaban and born before the Battle of Hogwarts, then that means the biological component from Voldemort would have been from his second body. The resurrected-in-the-graveyard one that we only know to be made of a) MAGIC, b) Tom Riddle Senior, b) Peter Pettigrew, and c) Harry Potter. So is Delphi even biologically the original Tom Riddle Junior’s kid? Wasn’t that body destroyed?
Zie then goes on to speculate as to what would happen if, somewhere along the line, Harry and co. figured this out and realized that she was biologically his daughter?

My thoughts turned in a different direction.

The bones of that resurrection potion of Voldemort's came from his despised Muggle father.  And blood is made in bones, so while Harry's blood was a necessary part of the potion and no doubt provided a symbolic link, Voldemort's actual blood, once he'd been alive again for a while, all came from his bones ... which came from his father.  He is no longer a halfblood; on a biological level, he is now a muggle-born.  He has no blood connection with the Gaunts, and hence Salazar Slytherin, any longer.  (If he had realized the implications, he would have found a different way.)  There are some parts of him that come from Pettigrew, but they were mostly fuel and scaffolding.  The genetic bits came from Tom Riddle, Sr.

So he and Bellatrix have a kid.  Except that what neither of them realize is that, biologically, Bellatrix and Tom Riddle Sr have a kid.  (Really, Voldemort should consider himself fortunate that dear Bella never figured it out.  There is not much that could break Bella's loyalty to him, but causing her to bear a half-blood bastard would do it.)

But this is Bella and Voldie, here.  Not really parent-of-the-year material, and anyway, while Voldemort wanted an heir to show off, he doesn't care about them until they get old enough to get molded into what he wants.  Bella, meanwhile, even if she wanted to be a mother to the kid, is in a bit of a delicate spot with her husband, who is slightly less devoted to Voldie than she is.  So the kid gets dumped with a house elf for a nanny, while Bella and Voldemort are off fighting.  There'll be plenty of time later, right, once they've killed all those dirty mudbloods and blood traitors.

So, in the aftermath of the battle, there's a lot of mopping up to do--death eaters to chase down, DE strongholds to clear out, people to put on trial, etc.  The Trio pitch in, but Shacklebolt gives them the assignments least likely to lead to violence.  (He knows they can fight.  But he also knows they're kids and, now that the prophecy is over, they shouldn't have to.)  So that's how they're the ones clearing a DE safehouse when they come across a toddler and a house elf.

The house elf knows its master and mistress are dead, and its loyalties are free.  The house elf isn't a Black elf, so he has no loyalty to Bella that isn't compelled by its binding to her, and Voldemort's never had a house to have house elves for.  The elf's true masters were killed by Death Eaters, so he is perfectly willing--ecstatic, even!--to hand over his charge to Harry Potter, thank him for freeing him, and go off to see if he can find any relatives of his true masters.  Before he goes, he tells them everything he knows.

Harry and Ron, hearing that this kid's parents are Bellatrix Black and Voldemort himself, get grossed out.  Hermione, who knows a bit more about genetics and inheritance than the boys, gets a weird look on her face and starts doing tests.  (She has quite a strong interest in genetics and inheritance.  She has a whole lovely lecture pointing out just how WRONG and STUPID the whole pureblood notion of inheritance and blood purity is, to be used in response to a slur about mudbloods, which she's never gotten to actually use because what's the point in lecturing someone who won't understand how WRONG they are even after you tell them?)

The thing she's most worried about is that the baby might be Harry's, genetically.  That possibility would be the hardest to deal with, because of the personal implications.  But it is quickly ruled out.

A Pettigrew connection might be the best-case scenario, and it's easy to find his body, get a sample, and compare it.  That, too, is ruled out.

Hermione and Ron go back to the graveyard where Cedric was murdered without Harry.  Someone needs to watch little Delly, after all.  They get what they need.  It's a match.  Delly is, biologically, the daughter of the muggle Tom Rilddle, Sr, and thus the half-sister of Voldemort.

It's almost a good thing there are so many war orphans; Delly Riddle is very easy to slip in among them.  The story they give is completely true.  It's just missing a few details.  Delly Riddle, they say, is a muggleborn whose parents were killed by Death Eaters.  Delly Riddle, they say, was found by a witch and given over to a house elf to raise and keep safe.  That witch, they say, died in the war.  Delly Riddle, they say, has no living muggle relatives, so now she needs a new wizarding foster or adoptive family.

No eyebrows are raised.  It's a believable story, and more than they know about a couple of other very young war orphans.

(The irony is, a few years later, that one of those other war orphans with a mysterious past gets fingered as a possible Heir of Voldemort.  Nobody quite knows how the rumor starts, but once it does, people get hysterical.  The Trio watch with helpless fury, seeing what it does to that poor kid.  They do their best to dispel the rumors, frustrated that they can't prove how they know.  After all, they can't say "We know Melody Legato isn't Voldemort's kid because Delly Riddle is.")

beatrice_otter: Luke and Leia on the Death Star (Luke and Leia)
You know what's really frustrating?  Finding a fic with a really awesome, interesting, and unique idea, but so badly executed/poorly executed that I can't bear to read it.  Everything from homonym fail to characterization fail.  (But, like really weird homonym fail, too--more proofreading was needed.)  But it was a really great premise that I wanted to explore!  And there was so much promise; they'll probably be a really great ficcer when they get some more experience.  But this ... gah.  What finally threw me out so hard I stopped reading was when a Luke Skywalker who had been raised as a Jedi was more hotheaded and aggressive than canon!Luke had been in the same situation on screen.  Like, yelling and shoving people when canon!Luke just shrugged and ignored it.
beatrice_otter: Captain America (Captain America)
I have a problem with always-a-girl genderswap AUs of Captain America.  Not because I dislike genderswap--in fact, I love a good genderswap.  Because of the name.  I know the genderswap convention is to just feminize the name (Tony becomes Toni, Steven becomes Stephanie, James becomes Jamie, etc.).  And there's a reason to do it that way; it's immediately obvious who the character is a genderswap of.

But the thing is, when people name babies, they generally don't have one name and then choose the female form or male form when they find out if it's a boy or a girl.  With some names, such as Anthony (Tony) vs. Antonia (Toni), they're both relatively popular names, and at that point I don't mind it.  But for Steven/Stephanie, well, let's take a look at some hard numbers, shall we?

I get my numbers from SSA.gov, which has name frequency rates for the top thousand names used for American babies since 1896 available on its website.  Pulling up "Top Names of the 1910s," which includes Steve Rogers' year of birth, we find that Steve is 116 on the list, with 9,639 boys born in that decade named Steve.  Not the most common name, but not terribly unusual, either.  (James, by the way, was number three, with 275,079 boys in that decade named James, which may be why he went by "Bucky" instead.)  If we go over to the girl's side of the list, the name in the 116th slot is "Cora."  "Stephen" (spelled differently, but basically the same name) is 89 on the list, with 13,502 boys in that decade born with the name of Stephen.  (The corresponding girls' name is "Ellen").  If we take Steve and Stephen as basically the same name and add the numbers of boys with those names together, we get 23,141 boys born in that decade with a name variant of Steve's name, which would put us up in the mid-50s on the list, between Chester and Herman (corresponding girls' names being Bessie and Pearl).

Where is Stephanie on this list of common American names in the decade of Steve's birth? It's not even on the list.  See, the bottom names on the list are the 200th most common names, and those are Bert and Lela, respectively.  Where was Stephanie?  Well, if we pull up the popularity of the name "Stephanie" from the same site, (here's the search page but I can't find a way to link the specific search) we find out that in 1918, Stephanie was the 333rd most popular girls' name.  In that decade, it varied between 423 and 302--hardly a name one would expect to see very often.  In the mid-40s, it began creeping up, until from 1960-2007 it was always higher-up than 100 on the list.  It peaked from 84-87, when it hovered at 6th most popular name.  People my age are named Stephanie, not people my grandparents age.

Now we should consider Steve's family background (after all, in his day, children were a lot more likely to be named unusual names if they were family/ethnic names.  It's not like today where couples get baby name books looking for exotic names they like.  There had to be a reason to name a child something unusual).  Well, Steve was a working-class Irish Catholic.  Stephanie is not a working-class Irish Catholic name; it's French.  The only reason I can think of for an Irish Catholic working-class family in 1918 naming their daughter "Stephanie" is if they were naming her after St. Stephen, but usually you do that if the child was born or baptized on the feast day of that saint, and St. Stephen's feast-day is December 26th.  And he's the patron saint of martyrs and stone-masons, so not necessarily the guy you'd choose to set up as the patron saint of your baby girl.  If Steve's father were named Steve, I can see "Stephanie" in honor of him after his death, but his name was Joseph.

So what can we call always-a-girl!Steve that would be more period appropriate than Stephanie?  Well, you could go with Cora, Ellen, Bessie, or Pearl (which were as popular as the variations of "Steve"), or you could go with something that sounds similar and is on the list of popular names.  Stella, for example, is at #64 out of 200 on the "Popular Names of the 1910s" page, and Estelle is at #125.  Those sound similar to Steve's name so it would be easy for the audience to remember, and they are actual period names that she might realistically have been called.

(Also, both Stella and Estelle mean "star."  Which makes me chortle gleefully, to have a Captain America whose actual honest-to-God name means "star".)

(xposted to [community profile] cap_chronism )

beatrice_otter: SG-1 in the Gateroom (SG-1)
Title: The First Rule of Anthropology (the Missed Chances Remix)
Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Characters: Daniel Jackson, Sam Carter
Word Count: 5353
Written for: [personal profile] melayneseahawk in Remix 2012
Remix of:Another Chance
Summary: Nine years after Daniel leaves the SGC, the Stargate goes public.
Rating: Gen
Betaed by: [personal profile] secondalto 

Read on AO3

Can anyone tell me what the number one rule for an anthropologist is? )
beatrice_otter: I always have been what I chose (Choice)
Title: Herstory
Fandom: Vorkosiverse
Characters: Cordelia Naismith, Lady Vorrutyer Vorkosigan
Rating: Gen
Word Count: 3293
Written for: [personal profile] lannamichaels in [community profile] yuletide 2011
Summary:  Before being deployed for the Escobar-Barrayar war, Captain Cordelia Naismith goes to have a talk with Aral Vorkosigan's estranged ex-wife.

On AO3


Cordelia paused to gather her thoughts before pressing the chime. She wasn't quite sure why she was hereā€”it wasn't as if she expected to see Aral at all on her mission to deliver weapons systems to the beleaguered Escobar, and what could his ex-wife could tell her after all these years, anyway? )
beatrice_otter: Sha're in a blue veil (Shau'ri)
Title: Determination
Author: [livejournal.com profile] beatrice_otter 
Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Rating: G
Characters: General Hammond, Sha’re
Word Count: 1,296
Betaed by: [livejournal.com profile] redbyrd_sgfic 
Thank you to: [livejournal.com profile] quarryquest for information on Egyptian naming conventions.
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] sg_fignewton 
Summary: A scene from an AU in which Daniel is taken by Apophis and Sha're comes to Earth to fight for her husband and brother.


 

Read more... )
Part Two: Practicality
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Choices)
Now that authors have been revealed, I can post my remix here!  And the ironic thing?  The author I was assigned to this year is the one who wrote the beautiful Control (Atonal Cadenza Remix) for me last year.  What goes around, comes around, I guess.

Title: The Grass is Always Greener (the Known Temptation Remix)
Author:

[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Summary: No alternate reality is perfect.  No matter what it looks like on the outside.
Rating: PG
Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Word Count: 2774
Betaed by: redbyrd_sgfic
Spoilers: none
Remix of: "Ignoti Nulla Cupido" by [personal profile] melayneseahawk

 

( The Grass is Always Greener (the Known Temptation Remix) )

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beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
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