As with everything, when you taking something (such as canon) and play with it a bit (such as writing a fic), you inevitably change things. Your mind expands, sometimes it retracts, it veres off to the right and sometimes you forget that there was a North.
Many fanfics are sequels. Perhaps the first fic ever written (and don’t kill me, Classicists) was Vergil’s the Aeneid. Vergil conceived of it as the third and final (and best) installment of a trilogy, the first two parts having been written centuries earlier by a guy called Homer (the Illiad and the Odyssey).
Others fall under the category of “what if?” It’s a fic written on the premise that one detail changes, someone is no longer an orphan, the main character made a completely different decision, someone died unexpectedly and threw the entire plot off kilter.
There’s the redux, which could be described as taking a plot or famous story and inserting another fandom’s characters in the main roles.
Then there’s the “alternate universe”, as if we weren’t already inhabiting one by writing fic in the first place. Basically, there was a verge off the main timeline somewhere in the path and now the characters exist in the same situations (usually, not always) under completely different circumstance.
I would like to point out now, that the above is a gross generalization. It’s just there to give you an idea.
With the “alternative universe” or AU, comes the idea of building universes. It’s where the fanfic author puts together different details and aspects of canon, fanon, and sheer imagination. One fic is an AU, when you get two or more fics existing in the same “imaginative space”, we have separate “universes.”
This is essay serves to explain some of my universes for the avid (or even casual) reader. It is in no way complete, it’s a work in progress, and I creatively own everything written here. Please see my full disclaimer.
Belle (2014): the Perfect (and Unexpected) Crossover
Belle (2014) is in my top five favorite films of all time, which is saying something. The story of a woman, forced to assimilate and never being able to, is timeless, classic, and just begs for crossovers.
Food for thought: Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Dido Belle Lindsay. She also appears in Beauty and the Beast (2017), where Emma Watson plays a character named Belle. Emma Watson played Hermione Granger. Beauty and the Beast stars Dan Stevens… also in Downton Abbey and Eurovision: the Story of Fire Saga. Gugu was in A Wrinkle in Time (2018) with Chris Pine who played Kirk in Star Trek. Spock is a major character, played by Zachary Quinto, who played Sylar in Heroes. Chris Pine was in the Princess Diaries… which had a Princess… (it goes on and on and on).
Game of Thrones: Ilse Lannister
A well established trope A Song of Fire and Ice/Game of Thrones fandom is the idea of an extra “Stark daughter.” Usually, she’s older than Sansa, maybe Robb’s twin, maybe Jon’s twin… but she’s there, she’s perfect, and somehow she’s involved in the great conflict that takes over Westeros.
When, one lonely night in the northern part of the continent, I decided that I loved Edmure Tully (or, rather, I loved Tobias Menzies), pairing him with a potential niece was not a good idea. Hence, Ilse Lannister was born.
As every character, she took on a life of her own?
Who was she originally? Kevan Lannister’s grandchild whose father was a Hill. She worked as a handmaiden for Cerzainya Lannister, Lord Tywin’s granddaughter (Jaime and Cersei’s lovechild born before Cersei married Robert). Edmure falls in love with her and absconds with her.
Who she ended up being? A Lannister, usually highborn (or pretending to be). Tywin uses her in his machinations for political alliances. She eventually becomes Jaime’s beloved “little sister.”
Who does she love? Edmure Tully (usually), but not always
Harry Potter: Random Siblings
Octavian Nür Prince
Octavian is perhaps my favorite character that I’ve ever created. In late October 2009, my fellow fanfic author Kamerreon proposed that we both participate in NaNoWriMo that year. Short on time, I remember lying on my bed, listening to Owl City’s Fireflies, and contemplating “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” I thought, hmm, what if there had be a Pureblood Prince instead?… and that is how Octavian was born.
Name: Octavian Nür Prince (later Octavian Nür Black)
Born: 9 months after the fall of Voldemort (roughly August 1982)
Description: shoulder length honey blond hair, black eyes (like his mother and his cousin, Severus Snape), slight, physically attractive.
Native Language: French (he grew up somewhere in the French countryside outside of Paris). Also speaks English (with an accent).
Parents: Lucius, Lord Malfoy and Lady Lucrece Prince*
A Note on Lucius Malfoy: Yes, he was married to Narcissa at the time. Yes, Draco had been born. In this world, Narcissa was a friend, a companion, but never the love of his life. Through unforseen circumstances (er, the Imperius Curse), he conceives Octavian with Lucrece Prince. The details of this different per iteration of Octavian’s backstory. He never acknowledges Octavian because of pureblood stigma on illegitimate children but he loves his younger son, nonetheless.
A Note on Lucrece Prince: Lucrece is an original female character (OFC) created for Octavian’s backstory. She is the first cousin of Severus Snape (her father, Troy, Lord Prince, is Severus Snape’s uncle). She is proud and brings up her illegitimate child (Octavian) to never ask for what he needs because it isn’t seemly. It’s my belief that she never loved her child, but never terminated her unexpected pregnancy because it was “not the done thing”. She brought him up and named him Octavian after her elder brother who died when they were at Hogwarts.
In the Fireflies Verse, Octavian and Harry are the love of each other’s lives.
Lady Lacerta Malfoy & Lady Iolanthe Malfoy
Lacerta and Iolanthe are part of the greater Malfoy household. They are the younger sisters of Draco and feature in various ways across multiple fanfics. Sometimes they exist sometimes in a world in which Octavian exists, but usually they don’t.
Lacerta (or Lacy) was born in 1982/1933. As the middle child she is cold, entitled, aloof. She has Lucius’s platinum blonde hair and blue eyes. (Lacerta is a constellation.)
Iolanthe (or Io) was born in 1985. She is the baby of the family and Lucius’s undoubted favorite. She has her mother’s blonde hair and usually possesses grey eyes. (Iolanthe is a name that means “violet flower” in the tradition of other witches named after flowers, including Narcissa Malfoy.)
At some point, JKR noted in an interview that Hermione Granger was initially supposed to have a sister, but by the time she was going to mention it, it seemed “too late” in the series. The character was never named. I named her “Elissa”, which is an alternate name for Dido (from the Aeneid). Due to Hermione’s own name (Hermione was the daughter of Helen of Troy), I thought it was likely they were descended from Squibs or that one (or both) of their parents like the Classics.
Elissa is a Muggle with no magic. She’s clever, pretty.
She first made an off-screen appearance in 2010 in “Dancing in the Dark” and was a major plot point.
Amaryllis (“Amy”) Potter
Who is Amy Potter? Well, she’s from an alternate dimension where Lily Evans Potter married Reynard Potter right out of Hogwarts instead of the stupid, self-absorbed James Potter. Reynard Potter is the “son” of Dorea Black Potter and Charlus Potter who only appears as “son” on the Black Tapestry in canon.
Description: Lily’s red hair, beautiful, looks nothing like Harry (or Henrietta, depending on the fic) Potter. The name “Amaryllis” is from a flower, after her mother, Lily.
Job: well, usually, it’s spying, on behalf of the propped up government in HP7.
Personality: she hates her half-sibling Harry with a passion and blames him for her mother’s death. She was brought up to think of herself as a pureblood (Lily and Reynard hid during the war, and then Lily died unexpectedly and Reynard, whose mother is Dorea Black Potter, raised her “properly”) and delights in being the “preferred Potter.” That being said, she avoids Harry and never acknowledges their familial relationship.
Where does she appear? Not everything is complete or even posted, but so far, she’s hung around with Draco Malfoy, Mycroft Holmes, the Cullens, and even Kylo Ren in a fusion that will never see the light of day.
Meirona Potter (and Enid Potter)
Meirona and her mother only appear once, in Hooked on a Feeling. In this world, Lily died shortly after fem!Harry was born. Charlus (here as James’s father as was the original fan theory) prompts James to marry Welsh witch Enid a few years later to “secure a male heir.” They end up having a daughter, Meirona, and James decides that he wants Lily’s daughter to have the title.
This means no longer trying for a male heir, and this creates various resentments.
Meirona is in love with and becomes engaged to Draco Malfoy, with her sister’s blessing.
Harry Potter: the Four Lords
This is part of the backstory for Of Princes and Fireflies in 2009 and since has taken on a life of its own.
The concept is that in wizarding England there are four “lords,” or pureblood noblemen who essentially hold all the power and prestige of society. The idea comes from the idea that it’s a well established trope that Sirius Black is somehow “Lord Black” and often passes down the title through magic and godfatherly love Harry Potter.
The original Four Lords were: Lord Black, Lord Bones, Lord Malfoy, and Lord Prince.
It later developed into: Lord Black, Lord Malfoy, Lord Prewett, and Lord Prince.
This concept can exist either independently from the Sacred Twenty-Eight (canon) or on top of it.
Now, unfortunately, the titles get complicated. The Four Lords hold the actual title (such as “Lucius, Lord Malfoy” or, in other words, Lucius Malfoy is “the Lord Malfoy”). All children and grandchildren hold honorary titles (such as Lady Lacerta and Lady Iolanthe are the daughters of “the Lord Malfoy”). Octavian Prince, if he were legitimate, would be Lord Octavian as the pureblood grandson of Troy, Lord Prince. The eldest son and heir of the reigning Lord is “Heir.” In some fics, there are “Heiresses” where no male heir exists.
Harry Potter: Lux Kingsley Divergence
Lux is part of a complicated family history that involves both the Malfoys and the Blacks. Basically, she is Lucius Malfoy’s niece, although she is only five years younger than he is (she’s the daughter of an ofc, Madeleine Malfoy Kingsley, who is an older sister who married young). Her mother named her “Lux” (“light” in Latin) after Lucius Malfoy.
Lux is also Sirius Black’s godsister. In pureblood society, it is anathema to have a romantic/sexual relationship with a godsibling (twisting of magic), but she and Sirius fall in love at Hogwarts. They entered a secret relationship and eventually secretly (and illegally) marry.
She has the Malfoy platinum blonde hair but purple eyes, from the Kingsley Family.
First appearing in The Death Mist, she is the secret mother of Lycoris Black (known as Harry Potter), a metamorphmagus stolen at birth and stuck with the “wrong face.” In the redux Winter’s Light, she is the known but mainly unacknowledged mother of Sirius’s daughter, Lady Imbolc Black.
She also makes appearances in the Wicked Stepmother Universe and the Phoenix Core Series, among other places.
Along with Lux and Imbolc, there is sometimes Æeona who is also part of the Kingsley-Malfoy family.
Harry Potter: the Wicked Stepmother
Over the years, I’ve created and designed various pureblood establishments that I imagined were hidden in and around Diagon Alley. They would be (and are) strictly “pureblood only”. As such, Harry Potter (in canon) never would have visited such places.
Various establishments that occur in my own Harry Potter fanon include (but are not limited to) the White Witch (restaurant), (jewelry store where a pureblood can buy a vined ring), the Sleeping Dragon (a pureblood café/bistro), and the Wicked Stepmother (an exclusive pureblood club).
The Wicked Stepmother served as a jumping off point for the Wicked Stepmother Universe, which primarily features Lily Evans Potter (and sometimes Mafalda Prewett and even Hermione Granger in unfinished works). It’s a place where witches and wizards go to be seen, to be fashionable, and to prove that they have six generations of pureblood ancestry.
Membership cards are in gradations from white (Sirius Black holds a white card because of his white magic) to black (only Lord Voldemort and Lily Evans Potter have had pure black magic in the past several centuries). The receiving of a card is usually the central plot point of these fics and prove (or disprove) that characters are who they think they are.
In the Wicked Stepmother Universe, Lily Evans Potter is almost always a Black (in various different ways), having been stolen or lost at birth. She is either romantically linked to Lucius Malfoy or Lord Voldemort.
In “Mafalda“, the canon character of Mafalda Prewett is a pureblood squib and Harry Potter is the pureblood child of Lily Evans Potter and (well, that’s for you to find out).
As to Hermione Granger, well, those fics were never finished. Maybe they will be one day. I find, however, that pureblood!Hermione is overdone.
Man in the High Castle: Juliana really likes Japanese Culture
In the Man in the High Castle, Juliana lives under Japanese oppression in the Japanese Pacific States and yet … likes everything Japanese. She takes martial arts, dresses in ways that hint at Japanese culture, speaks Japanese nearly (if not completely fluently), and not only gets a job working for the Japanese (although she’s a spy for the resistance) but is friendly with the Trade Minister.
At the time of the series (and the original novel), Juliana is in her thirties when this all comes together to make her the perfect spy who likes eating Japanese food from street vendors.
What if this were noticed sooner? Couldn’t this have changed her life drastically?
In every single fic (chaptered or otherwise) I’ve written, somehow Juliana is not only culturally Japanese, but she lives and breathes the culture for whatever reason. We see her being noticed by Inspector Kido who falls in love with her. I have her being adopted at a young age practically off the street. She’s a lead torturer, she’s a spy for the Japanese against the Greater Nazi Reich, she’s a cultural attaché…
… whatever the redux, Juliana will always be Juliana, and she will always appreciate Japanese culture.
P&P: Mabel Elizabeth Bennet Darcy (secret lovechild)
The idea of Pride and Prejudice revolves around the idea that Elizabeth and Darcy had the opposite of meetcute. This leads to misunderstandings, self discovery, and ultimately love.
But what if they met and then just–forgot–or couldn’t find each other again? This is the premise of Forgotten First Impressions. Throw in an accidental pregnancy, and we have Mabel Bennet Darcy, epic four-year-old who is too smart for her own good. She also thinks that Darcy is a prince.
Thing is, Mabel appears in multiple fics across multiple fandoms… you just have to look hard enough.
P&P: why is Darcy with Elizabeth?
Ever since Colin Firth dove into that lake, it’s been sacrilegious to think that Darcy and Elizabeth aren’t meant to be.
Thing is, early commentators thought just that. It was a commonly held belief for decades that Darcy should have ended up with Jane Bennet, the “ideal sister.” Now, that just blows my mind… but sometimes I like to imagine Darcy with anyone other than Elizabeth Bennet.
Somewhere, after writing Forgotten First Impressions and rediscovering Lost In Austen, I realized that Darcy was epic enough to crossover. (Georgiana also had that honor for a fic.). That’s where Mary Sue Bella Swan came in… once or twice, and good lord, I became massively obsessed with the idea that Dido Elizabeth Belle deserved better than a lawyer who cared more that she like the slaves who needed to be free, than to realize that he was imprisoning her all over again.
… and I just can’t seem to stop.
the Twilight Saga: the Cullens can’t actually be vampires
This is a common complaint. For all the twihards out there, no hatred please. But if you’ve ever read Bram Stoker or anyone else, Vampires like to drink blood, they’re massively sexual (sex and death are always closely linked), and they sleep during the day. Oh, and who said anything about sparkling?
I share the opinion with the rest of the planet, that the Cullens are something else (usually labeled “Cold One” or “incubus”) … and Edward is unnatural.
How this ends is: (1) Edward bashing and/or (2) Bella meeting real vampires (usually of the Vampire Diaries variety).