Harry Potter

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This article is about the fandom. For the character, see Harry Potter (character). For other uses, see Harry Potter (disambiguation).
Name: Harry Potter
Abbreviation(s): HP
SS/PS [Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone]
CoS [Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]
PoA [Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]
GoF [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]
OotP [Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]
HBP [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]
DH [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]
Creator: J. K. Rowling
Date(s): 1997–2007 (main series books)
2001–2011 (main series films)
2016 (Cursed Child)
2016–ongoing (Fantastic Beasts films)
Medium: books, films, stage play
Country of Origin: UK
External Links: Harry Potter wiki, JK Rowling's site
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Harry Potter, the seven-book series written by J. K. Rowling, tells the story of Harry Potter, a young orphan marked by fate to fight the wizard Lord Voldemort.

Harry Potter has also been adapted into movies by Warner Bros. The first six films were released between 2001 and 2009. The final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was made into two films and released in November 2010 and July 2011.

Warner Bros. are to make five new films based on Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, scripted by Rowling and set in the 1920s; the first was released in November 2016.[1] A play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, also premiered in 2016.[2]

See also Timeline of Harry Potter Fandom.

The Harry Potter Phenomenon

Harry Potter is a massively popular series that has touched even people who aren't active in fandom.

The thing about Harry Potter is that, honestly, no matter what anyone would like to say or argue about the writing quality, the popularity, the way she kind of can't help but fuck with her fans a little (which I personally love, by the way), etc., the one fact remains that the books 'do something.

When you go to see a movie in the theater, half the fun is sitting in with a bunch of strangers experiencing the film together. Usually, it's for the first time. It's almost like a religious experience at times.

Books aren't like that. They're solitary. They're private. These are two different approaches to worship if you will.

But Harry Potter makes the private occasionally public. This is what I find truly awesome.[3]

The Fandom

The Harry Potter fandom presence online is massive. On FanFiction.Net it still (as of 2017) has more posted works than any other fandom.[4] Het, slash and gen are all popular, although femslash is less common. J.K. Rowling is supportive of fan activities; she has given her blessing for fanfiction[5] and gives awards for her favorite fansites.[6]

Fandom has embraced myriad forms of fan activities, such as fanfiction, fanart, fanvids, conventions, podcasts, cosplay, Hogwarts Houses, knitting, wizard rock, Quidditch, wikis, discussion forums, etc. While the canon was still open, speculating about future plot developments was also widely popular. Hot topics included which ships were going to happen in canon (Harry/Hermione vs. Ron/Hermione) and whether Severus Snape was loyal to Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore, or just himself.[7] During the long wait for the next novel, some theories became quite fanciful.

Indeed, the fandom is so large and diversified that fans in one corner may have no idea what is happening in another corner. This balkanization is often deliberate.

Fandom Demographics

It has been suggested that a large number of Harry Potter fans got into fanfiction, fanart, and even fandom in general through anime and manga fandoms rather than through Western media fandoms. This is hypothesized to have had a stylistic effect on fanworks and contributed to a lower overall age than in some other Western fandoms. It has also been suggested that Harry Potter fandom has an unusually high proportion of fans who have never been in a fandom before, i.e. was a threshold fandom.

Shipping, Slashing, and Arguing about Canon

With such a large cast of characters, HP also has a large number of potential pairings to ship. Many ships are popular enough to have multiples archives, fests, or Livejournal communities devoted to them; some ships have so much fannish infrastructure and so little crossover with other ships that in practice they act as separate fandoms.

Shipwars and debates over which pairings count as canon are common in many fandoms; however, Harry Potter fandom is particularly notable for the large proportion of fans who supported pairings as canon that were later proven not to be. These included Harry/Hermione (see also Harmonians) and Remus/Sirius, among others. The latter is especially unusual for being a same-sex pairing.

See also List of Harry Potter Pairing Names.


Harry Potter fan fiction appeared mainly in the form of online fan fiction. Based on the timing of the books and movies (post-Internet), printed fanzines were not the norm. However a small number of fanzines - gen, het and slash, were printed. In addition to traditional fanzines, Harry Potter also created a small but thriving amount of doujinshi 'fanzines' in both English and Japanese. The presence of a large number of anime and manga fans most likely also contributed to the wider acceptance of doujinshi fanzines.

For a list of Harry Potter fanzines on Fanlore, see: List of Harry Potter Fanzines.
For a list of Harry Potter doujinshi on Fanlore, see: List of Harry Potter Doujinshi.

Online fanfic was first posted in 1999[8] and was probably by Gypsy Silverleaf.[9]

The first four Harry Potter fic pioneers were: Gypsy Silverleaf, Katie Bell, Elizabeth Notrab, and Flourish Klink. Others followed very soon afterward.[10]

An early description (~2002) of options for fans of Harry Potter fic is this one by Flourish Klink:

The first Harry Potter site was the Realm, founded in the fall of 1999. And there were authors, and it was good. This website was run by one person, Gypsy, but this task is extremely large; therefore, the site's fanfiction archive has become less and less the center of fanfiction activities. This site was the first Harry Potter fanfiction site, and was the typical fan-run HP fanfic site of the time: small, designed in an amateurish way, and with a small community of teenaged authors. Another similar site of this time was alohomora.com (now defunct).

Soon, however, the center of fanficcing glory moved to fanfiction.net (also known as "The Site That Must Not Be Named," by some of the more biased forum posters). Here the Harry Potter fandom grew into the largest literary fandom on the net, and as the ranks of authors grew, so did the opinions and ideas. After arguments between fanfiction.net mods and Harry Potter authors,[11] various fan-run sites sprung up. While fanfiction.net remains a large part of the Harry Potter fanfiction community, many authors also post their fics at these newer sites.

Some of the other sites, such as sugarquill.com and gryffindortower.net, archive only fanfiction of a certain ship (respectively, Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny). Others, like Diagon Alley, choose to archive only adult-aimed fanfiction. Of course, of all of these, we would like you to remember FictionAlley.org the most, as a site which archives every genre, ship, and style of fic (except NC-17). The specific reason for our founding was the desire for a community in which no person would be censored or senselessly banned - a place where one can politely state their ideas and engage in debates without being chastised.

Other notable sites in the fandom that do not archive fanfiction are the Harry Potter for Grownups discussion list, which revolves entirely around the Harry Potter canon, the Harry Potter Galleries and the Harry Potter Lexicon.[12]

HP fanfic is incredibly diverse and can be classified by character generation or time period, as well as by gen, het, or slash. There are stories about Harry's parents' generation at school or during the first war with Voldemort, the survivors of the war, Harry and his peers at school, Harry and his peers as adults, and the next generation of characters who are briefly mentioned in the epilogue of the seventh novel. Still older generations have been explored in stories: Dumbledore, Voldemort, Grindelwald, and some of the Hogwarts teachers. Founders Fic plays with the original Hogwarts founders (Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin), who were alive during the Middle Ages. Finally, cross-generational ship fic, as well as not so shippy fic, is popular.

HP fanfic can also be sorted[13] by the era in which it was written. Before the seventh book was published and canon closed, the period following the publishing of each new book represented a new wave of fanfic with new genres, tropes, and canon interpretation. The three-year summer between the fourth and fifth book saw a vast increase in the size of HP fandom and, consequently, its creative output. Starting with the fifth book, major recurring characters died in each subsequent book, forcing fans of those characters to decide whether to write canon-compliant stories, bring the character back to life, or simply ignore canon.

Given the time span covered in the books, HP "futurefic" is relative. Many stories were written about the second war with Voldemort before it took place in canon. A large body of work featuring aged-up versions of Harry and his peers appeared long before the final book was published, but the epilogue, which showed Harry at age 36, jossed most of these. A story written in 2005 about Harry and Draco raising a kid[14] is very different from a story written in 2007 about Harry and Draco's canonical children.[15]

Some unusual form of fanfiction includes audio dramas like "Under the Red Moon".

More information about het, femslash, and slash stories can be found in the articles on specific pairings.

Little Black Dresses

Various characters have been described as the HP fandom Little Black Dress, including Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and others.

Tropes & Subgenres

Fannish tropes and genres of all kinds can be found in HP fanfic, but the following exist only in HP:


Fan Art

Individual HP fanart is often located on DeviantArt, where there are many groups dedicated to characters and ships (for example, the Draco x Ginny Club, or the Ron/Pansy Club), though some people prefer LJ and its ilk. There are also a number of individual websites and blogs, hosted privately by fan-artists (such as GoldSeven, which features the art of Jenny Dolfen). Many fansites and archives also have fanart galleries, such as MuggleNet and FictionAlley.





Fan Songs/Filk



Mailing Lists

Harry Potter fandom had a significant presence on Yahoo! Groups but, like other fandoms, was affected by the removal of adult groups from the Yahoo! Groups search directory in 2001. Many groups dwindled or were deleted after the majority of their members moved to LiveJournal.

Some significant lists, past and present, include:

On LiveJournal

By the end of 2002, many Harry Potter fans had migrated to Livejournal. Many of the older HP LJ communities first saw significant traffic in early 2003.

A partial list of Harry Potter journaling communities can be found at Category:Harry Potter Communities. The list overlaps with other kinds of Harry Potter fan communities.

In 2005, a master list of Harry Potter LJ communities was posted to newbieguide, an introduction LJ community for newcomers to Livejournal. It can be seen here.[19] FanHistory.com also has a list of Harry Potter LJ communities on or around 2006 that can be seen here. Fans would often list their favorite LJ communities such as Beren's list in 2003 here,[20] perle9240's 2006 list here,[21] slinkhard's 2006 list by pairing,[22] or Maddy Riddle's undated list here.[23]

Other masterlists

Additional LJs


When LiveJournal began deleting journals and communities that featured underage sex in 2007 a number of Harry Potter communities were affected as well, such as the popular Pornish Pixies. As a result, a portion of the Harry Potter fandom (especially Harry/Snape fans) moved to other journaling platforms such as JournalFen and InsaneJournal, where they could continue their practice without fearing oppression from corporate entities.

The main Harry/Snape fest Snarry Games moved to InsaneJournal for the 2008 round of the Games. Even after LiveJournal reinstated some of the deleted journals and people slowly started to move back, Snarry Games remained on IJ.

The main het Christmas exchange Smutty Claus moved the fest to JournalFen in 2007, but in 2008 Smutty Claus was back on LiveJournal.


See List of Harry Potter Archives.

Fan-Run Conventions (fan cons)

Harry Potter Symposiums



For the full list of challenges on Fanlore, see Category:Harry Potter Challenges

Harry Potter has had more than a hundred exchanges and fests. Some continue year after year. Some are a single event. Either way, there have been and will continue to be a huge number of Fests & Exchanges in Harry Potter fandom.

There are Big Bangs and holiday exchanges and every type of fest from Death Eaters to Gen and everything in between.

Check out the List of Harry Potter Fests & Exchanges and feel free to add whatever fests or exchanges that are missing.

Fannish Awards

For the full list of awards on Fanlore, see Category:Harry Potter Awards


See also List of Newsletter Communities: Harry Potter and Category:Harry Potter Newsletters.

Meta/Essays/Discussion Communities


After podcasting took off in 2005[citation needed], HP fen were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Popular HP podcasts, past and present include:

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Harry Potter Podcasts.


Meta/Further Reading

See Category:Harry Potter Meta


  1. ^ Harry Potter Wiki: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film trilogy) Accessed June 2015
  2. ^ Daily Mail - Harry Potter Biggest West End Show Ever (published and accessed 26th June 2015)
  3. ^ sexonastick. Great moments are always best with pretty girls. Posted to LiveJournal 21 July 2007. (Accessed June 30, 2010)
  4. ^ With over 761,000 fics, HP has three times as many fics posted as Twilight, the second most popular book fandom with over 219,000 fics.[1] To compare: The most popular anime fandom, Naruto, has 411,000 [2]; the most popular television fandom, Supernatural, has over 118,000 [3]; the most popular game fandom, Pokémon, has over 90,900 [4]. Numbers taken from Fanfiction.net on 9 March 2017.
  5. ^ Rowling backs Potter fan fiction, BBC 27 May 2004. Accessed October 2008
  6. ^ J.K. Rowling Official Site
  7. ^ The Great Snape Debate - Borders Exclusive
  8. ^ "My personal fiction place on the website! It contains one of the first ever Harry Potter fanfictions (written in late August 1999) which sparked the HP frenzy at FanFiction.net. It also has the first Severus Snape-sympathetic story written! Furthermore, this section houses "The Enemy Series," which has been slowly coming out since late 1999 into 2002." -- Fanworks, accessed August 18, 2016
  9. ^ "I'm actually one of the first writers ever, I got the administration over at FanFiction.net to start the Harry Potter fan fiction section, I wrote the first Severus Snape-oriented fic, and I started the Draco/Hermione ship. Scary, no?" -- Fanworks, accessed August 18, 2016
  10. ^ "The First Four Fanficcers to post their fanfics online were: Gypsy (also the first Harry Potter fanfic archivist at harrypotterrealm.com), Katie Bell, Elizabeth Notrab, Flourish (yes, that's me). Slightly later, but just as ancient, were: Tinderblast, Colin, Blaise, Meagan, Morrigan, Cairnsy, CLS, the WolfieTwins, Alicia/Sue Spinnet, Masoumi." -- Flourish Klink at Some Notable Oldbies, a FictionAlley primer, accessed August 18, 2016
  11. ^ In 2001, Flourish Klink wrote: "What's the controversy? So you've heard a lot about the controversy over fanfiction.net? Well, obviously no one person can tell the whole story, but for a short recap: A fairly "famous" fanfiction author, Cassandra Claire, was accused of plagarism. This accusation was reported to the fanfiction.net staff. They did not e-mail her and warn her that she was about to be removed, nor did they inform her of the accusation. When she was removed, it was a huge surprise to the fandom. In the aftermath of the accusations and counter-accusations - that fanfiction.net was being unfair, that Cassie had done no wrong - many authors left fanfiction.net. Many felt that Cassie had been treated unfairly; others realized that they did not agree with the terms of service. For others, this was the straw that broke the demiguise's back, causing vague plans for an HP archive modeled after the X-Files' Gossamer site to grow into inspiration to create fansites by and for the Harry Potter fandom. FictionAlley is one of those sites." -- A Guided Tour of the Fandom
  12. ^ A Guided Tour of the Harry Potter Fandom
  13. ^ Sorted, get it?
  14. ^ Snakes and Ladders by Alvira. Posted: 2005-01-24 (Accessed 4 April 2011)
  15. ^ "Coda To An Epilogue: Twenty Years Later, Or The Kids Are All Right" by Maya, posted August 2007.
  16. ^ (hpart WebCite)
  17. ^ pagewww.webcitation.org/67vV9QBad hpsmart WebCite front page); WebCite profile page.
  18. ^ WebCite hp-art-xchange
  19. ^ WebCite for the LJ newbieguide.
  20. ^ WebCite for beren writes LJ community list.
  21. ^ WebCite for perale9240's Harry Potter LJ list.
  22. ^ webcite for slinkhard's list.
  23. ^ WebCite for Maddy's LJ community list.