HP Fic I'd like to see So I've been going through HP fics again, and I'm starting to get tired of all the super!Harry fics. Even the stories that don't center on Harry often still give him extra special abilities, as if saying "oh look! But other characters also get special powers too!" somehow negates the fact that Harry almost always gets the most plot-holish abilities pulled out of thin air. Or the fact that he dies a heroic death at the end would change the fact that we still mysteriously have the rest of the cast standing in his stadow posthumously. And let's not even get into the holier than thou attitude that comes with a lot of these fics.
What I really want to see is a action/plot-oriented fic (relationship-oriented fics don't really count, especially if it takes place after the war) where Harry is just an ordinary wizard - maybe a bit more powerful and skilled than average, but still firmly in the level-bracket of student that he belongs in. That is, he's not all of a sudden more powerful or knowledgable than his teachers (the incompetent ones from DADA, Divination, etc. excepted). Heck, I'd like to see a fic where it's everyone else who gets the new and plot-holish powers, while Harry only carries the day (and the prophecy) by relying on the aid of others.
I think that's a large part of where the problem lies, actually. Rowling has made it so clear even before the prophecy in Book 5 (and then moreso with the prophecy) that Harry is/will be the one to defeat Voldemort. Somehow, that has become a fanon assumption that he must defeat Voldemort by being more powerful than the Dark Lord... and then that got extended further by fanfic writers to become "more powerful than anyone else".
Sure, some prophecies work that way. Zeus heard a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son more powerful than the father, and so Achilles was compared to Pelleus. But after the first couple hundred fics along that vein, I find it frustrating that no one (or at least I've come across no memorable/well written examples) tried to think outside the box a little. Screwing with prophecies - or prophecies screwing with people - is after all, a classical storyline. Canonically, even, there is plenty of room for it, meaning that Harry can still be the main character and the "star of the show", without being the most favored one out there.
Take the clauses in the prophecy that's relevant here: "the power to vanquish the Dark Lord ", "power the dark lord knows not", "mark him as his equal". Here's one possible interpretation of the phrases that wouldn't make Harry turn out to be some ubergodling:
"the power to vanquish the Dark Lord" - Technically speaking, this has already happened when Harry was one years old. The prophecy says nothing about whether this vanquishing is a one time thing or repeatable, but even if we're talking about the present, it's already happened again as well. Remember Quirrel? That certainly counts, and it was the same "power" which banished Voldemort the first time which fried Quirrel that time. Second year is iffy if we can count it as facing the "dark lord", since the diary might've been before Tom officially took on that title. Fourth and fifth year - again Harry escaped certain death and foiled the Dark Lord's plans - the first time by suriviving to warn everyone and the second time by destroying the prophecy sphere and landing the DE's in prison. Note that all of these feats did not require super-powers. So what power did they require?...
"power the dark lord knows not" - One obvious interpretation that people often come up with in discussions of the books but never in the fics is the power of friendship. Or to be more trite, as Dumbledore was intimating at the end of Book 5 - the power of love and sacrifice. Like, duh. That was how he lived and vanquished the dark lord the first time, wasn't it? Likewise, he defeated Quirrel with that same leftover power, added to the help and sacrifice (remember the chess game and potions logic puzzle) of his friends. Fourth year he was saved from being avada-kedavra'ed by the spirits forced out of Voldemort's wand when their brother wands did the priori incantatum. Again, it was the spirits of the past, the spirits of his dead parents, which saved his skin. And fifth year, where would he have been in the Dept. of Mysteries had he not had the core DA members to fight at his side, not to mention the Order of the Phoenix to cover his butt?
Seriously, what's wrong with making the people around Harry - his friends and allies - be the ones with powers, and let him be the one they use their powers to help so he could land the final (prophecized) blow to the Dark Lord? Oh, well, except I guess fanfic writers would so hate to have the "main character" being upshown by anyone. *rolleyes*
"mark him as his equal" - Again, why is everyone assume that this is talking about raw power-levels? Is everyone blind to how similiar Harry and Voldemort are in a lot of ways, and not just the superficial? Voldemort marked Harry and killed his parents, marking him as a pariah in his foster family, a powerful icon in the wizarding world, and a posterboy lead figure of the lemmings in Gryffindor House and much of the Order of the Pheonix. Gee, now how is this so different from what Voldemort was again? - the abused orphan boy, the icon (albeit a constantly feared one as opposed to Harry who is only sometimes feared) to the world, and the leader of his private little army...
Well, okay, we do see that some of Voldie's powers got transfered over to Harry, like the parseltongue. But where do writers get the fics where Harry suddenly becomes more powerful than the rest of the world from? Does "equal" have some other meaning I'm not aware of?