Because, yes, I'm still hashing this out, at least mentally, the whole What Is Fanfic For And Why thing that is Completely Relevant Only To Me.
I'm also, as would be obvious to maybe the not so casual observer, on a Harry Potter Fandom kick again. The post-DH HP world is a markedly different fandom than the one I left, a week before Deathly Hallows came out. Things are pretty interesting if you look in the right places. The dilapidated fansites, the subdued forums, the epic multichaps that are being slowly, achingly slowly, wrapped up... I find it all incredibly fascinating.
And I still haven't seen a fic about Poppy Pomfrey.
If I can just figure out who her contemporaries would be... I set her mentally as being a few years younger than McGonagall, because McG calls her "Poppy" in a familiar fashion and I'd love to write stories about Poppy thinking a teenaged Minerva is completely bonkers crazy scary awesome, with ye olde quidditch goggles and whatnot while Poppy biffs down to the greenhouses in her Hufflepuff garb. I've also set her as a Hufflepuff, something that I have reservations about writing.
I've never managed to properly identify myself with a House. I'm certainly not a Slytherin because I'm not cunning and I hate taking advantage of obvious situations and, as any sandbox-style videogame has shown me, I just don't have it in me to be evil (or pragmatic.) I've never seen myself as a Hufflepuff because god knows I'm lazy as shit and would never be classified as hardworking, and I'm incredibly misanthropic so I'm certainly not friendly or welcoming. People tend to label me as a Ravenclaw, but in my head, although I know I'm intelligent enough, I'm so damn lazy that it extends to thinking. It pleases me to learn new things and share this information with others, but I've never been much for problemsolving, or the harder sciences, or anything that isn't about gut feeling and sensation. Which leaves, of course, my either being sorted as a Squib or a Gryffindor. Squib makes me sad, so eff that option. But Gryffindor? Here's the issue: I am flattered, but I don't see myself as courageous, or brave. Sure, I seem to be a natural leader sort of person, but it's always unwillingly or because nobody else will step up to it. I fit the negative aspects of Gryffindor - I'm lazy, I take shortcuts, I have a slightly... flexible view when it comes to ethics, but at the same time I'm rigidly righteous about certain moral stances, like the right one has to one's own body, I'm overly passionate and prone to bouts of gloom, and god knows I can be a dramatic cow. So this paragraph is a WHOLE lot of self indulgence, but, to sum it up, I guess I'm a Gryffindor. Every time I take a sorting hat quiz they all tell me either "unsortable" or Gryffindor. And every time I think about posting it or announcing it or making a joke about it I think to myself "oh, god, EVERYBODY wants to think of themselves as a Gryffindor, except for the self-assured mathlete ravenclaws and the goth/emo slytherins." Like, saying that I've been "sorted" according to other people on the internet into Gryffindor makes ME look like *I* am the one who is disingenuously declaring that yes, I AM the protagonist, and all you other fuckers are supporting cast, so please biff off while I declare myself awesome. I suppose it's the same as saying I'm Command Gold in Star Trek fandom. To me, it comes off as though I'm being conceited when really it's just that I'm trying really hard to categorize myself in a way that other people feel more comfortable.
I should go to sleep, by the way. I'm well aware that I'm rambling like a lunatic.
Anyway, so I worry about writing Poppy Pomfrey as a Hufflepuff. They are the House that I personally have the least in common with, and the House that we know the least about. How many canon wizards do we know of that are from Hufflepuff? There's Tonks, and a few of the contemporary Trio-era students, and Pomona Sprout, and... who else?? There are certainly ones that are made up for the chocolate frog cards and whatnot. But which ones would be in school alongside Poppy? Are there commonly accepted fandom conventions for this? Would Poppy be going to school the same time as Tom Riddle?? Would there be interaction?
I have this whole idea in my head about the very first chapter of the Poppy Pomfrey story, when she's ten years old. See, Pomfrey is a french name, so I have the idea that the Pomfrey family and the Malfoy family are neighbors in their summer homes in France. I mean, the Malfoys might be Slytherins, but they hadn't, at that point, gone totally sour, you know? The Black family was worse than the Malfoys, at least in the book canon, and Draco turned out okay, and you don't know so much about their ancestors or why Daddy Malfoy was such an asshole. So anyway, it would be... I'm not sure, either Draco's grandfather or great grandfather who would be Poppy's contemporary. So Poppy would be sitting for her first wizarding portrait session, in France, the year before she goes off to Hogwarts for the first time. And Poppy feels pressured and doesnt like her stuffy rich family, but they would still be loving.
And every wizarding family seems so homogenous in its houses. I'd want Poppy's family to be mixed, you know? A few Slytherins, a few Ravenclaws, some Hufflepuffs... I'm not sure what Poppy's sibling situation would be, or what. And then I'd have her go to school and have a chapter about her being a first year in Hufflepuff and introduce a bunch of original characters and Poppy dealing with some school woes and loneliness and learning stuff and making some friends...
Then i'd maybe give her a love interest. She'd have to figure out that she wants to be a mediwitch, but I don't know much about the whole accepted fanon conventions of magical healthcare education. I'd have to go in and construct a lot of this from scratch, especially considering that it would be dated. Like, wizarding technology seems to be about 20-40 years behind muggle. You've got the radio and the record players and the pocket watches and it's all very quaint. So would a mediwitch in the turn of the century be training like a nurse in the end of the 18th? I have to figure out dates. Would she have an apprenticeship?
I have to figure out the dates of the evil wizards, too. When would Grindlewald be getting up to his nonsense? Would Poppy have been taught by Dumbledore? Would there be something about the Pomfrey household in France being demolished by Grindlewald's crazitude?
It's tricky, this whole Poppy thing, because I wanted her to die in the end. But upon the reread of Deathly Hallows, she's alive after Fred dies. But she's never mentioned again, anywhere. And after her appearance, the second wave of the battle happens, and Tonks and Remus and whole lots of other people are dead, too. But someone needs to be there to help heal the injured, so Poppy would need to be alive.
And I can't remember if Poppy was ever officially in the Order of the Phoenix or not. Was she? Or was she just always dropped in in fic as a matter of convenience?
I think I need to have Poppy's family systematically decimated over the years between her going to Hogwarts and the Trio showing up. Because she basically lives the life on a nun in Hogwarts. She would be friends with the librarian and try to help all of the staff. And she'd see all the juicy bits of everyone's missing moments in the hospital wing. There was that epic challenge back in the day on Checkmated for all the Ron/Hermione missing moments... But think about it. She would know, and be close companions with, Remus and the other Marauders during their years. Before them, Arthur Weasley, and his brother Billius (??) would surely have gotten Up To Things. Before that would be a whole number of generations of students, and how many would Poppy have treated? Would there be a good chunk of her life where she isn't at Hogwarts as the nurse? I think so. I have to figure out what would happen in those years.
I'll write it. I know I will. The canon isn't *going* anywhere. I just... I have to figure it out. It'll take a few more years, and it'll take at least two more of my "ohmygodohmygod, harry potter fandom is the best fandom eveerrrrrrrrr" phases. But it'll happen. Because by god! Nobody else has written it!
Oh yeah, and if they take out the bits in the Deathly Hallows movies about Ron asking Hermione to come with him when he does a runner, I will personally travel to england and smack each and every one of those bitches upside the head.
Woe unto anyone who just read all of this. You are all fools.