HP Beholder

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Name: HP Beholder
Date(s): 2008 - 2014
Moderator(s): Delphi
Founder: Beth H
Type: gift exchange
Fandom: Harry Potter
Associated Community: hp_beholder on InsaneJournal
hp_beholder on LiveJournal
hp_beholder on DreamWidth
Header for HP Beholder using fanart by tripperfunster.[1]
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HP Beholder is an annual fic and art exchange "created to let characters who some less-than-discerning people think are unappealing get some action."[2]

The challenge was founded by Beth H and moderated by her up to 2012. Delphi took over as moderator for the 2013 & 2014 rounds. The fest closed after the seventh (2014) round.[3]


There's no smut requirement, per se, but the characters featured in art or fiction will be shown in a relationship of some kind. This might mean they're just starting to date by the end of the story and do little more than hold hands, or it might mean they're encountering each other late one night via a glory hole, but either way, this isn't a gen challenge.

This is an anonymous exchange, which means all the posting for the stories and art will be done by the mod. The names of the original authors and artists will be revealed at the end of the exchange.

2011 General Information

2008 Challenge

  • Sign-ups begin - Friday, February 1
  • Sign-ups end - Friday, February 8
  • Assignments get sent out - Sunday, February 10
  • Submission Deadline - Sunday, March 30
  • Posting Starts - Thursday, April 10

55 works were posted.

2009 Challenge

  • Sign-ups begin - Thursday, January 29
  • Sign-ups end - Friday, February 6
  • Assignments get sent out - Sunday, February 8
  • Submission Deadline - Sunday, April 5
  • Posting Starts - Thursday, April 16

45 works were posted.

2010 Challenge

For the 2010 edition, the following timeline was used:

  • Sign-ups began - Thursday, January 28
  • Sign-ups ended - Friday, February 5
  • Assignments were sent out - Sunday, February 7
  • Submission Deadline - Thursday, April 1
  • Posting Started - Thursday, April 15

59 works were posted, with the most popular characters being Severus Snape (not a Beholder's character), Minerva McGonagall, Millicent Bulstrode and Viktor Krum.

2011 Challenge

  • Sign-ups begin - Thursday, January 27
  • Sign-ups end - Friday, February 4
  • Assignments get sent out - Monday, February 7 at the latest
  • Submission Deadline - Thursday, March 24
  • Posting Starts - Thursday, April 7

60 works were posted, with the most popular characters being Minerva McGonagall, Millicent Bulstrode, Severus Snape and Viktor Krum.

2012 Challenge

  • Sign-ups begin - Thursday, January 26
  • Sign-ups end - Friday, February 3
  • Assignments get sent out - Monday, February 6
  • Submission Deadline - Thursday, March 30
  • Posting Starts - Thursday, April 12

55 works were posted, with the most popular characters being Severus Snape, Andromeda Black Tonks and Minerva McGonagall.

2013 Challenge

The moderator for this year was Delphi.[4] 49 works were posted, with Minerva McGonagall, Dudley Dursley and Millicent Bulstrode being the most popular characters.

2014 Challenge

The fest was again moderated by Delphi.[5] A total of 30 works were posted, two artworks and 28 stories. The most popular characters were Severus Snape, Amelia Bones, Millicent Bulstrode and Minerva McGonagall; there were three Aberforth/Severus stories. Delphi announced on 19 May 2014 that this would be the final round of the fest.[3]


There have been and continue to be so many wonderful fests that the competition for choice is fierce, but at this point the one I look forward to with the greatest excitement and affection is probably hp_beholder, originally founded by bethbethbeth and currently under delphi's expert stewardship. It's a gift exchange that challenges participants to explore the unconventionally attractive, often-overlooked characters populating HP. From the most unpromising material, the fest has spun a reputation for artistry, subtlety, excellent character studies, surprisingly persuasive pairings, and entries that run the gamut from raunchy and hilarious to sharp-witted and heartbreaking. It doesn't hurt, of course, that Snape is a recurring guest on the premises. If you were looking to convert an unbeliever to the protean talents within fandom, you could do worse than to drop them off the deep end into the backlog of our wonderful Beholder. (Perverse Idyll)[6]
In the sense that it's basically a rare pair fest, Beholder has challenged us to take on new characters and new pairings, and it would be have been a valuable part of fandom just for that. But to me at least it's always seemed like something more, this wonderful site of creative experimentation and alternative fannish possibilities. ... What if we took characters who didn't seem interesting and made them our protagonists? What if we tried to love characters who seem marginal or unlovable and reward them (to the extent that fandom "rewards" with narrative events) with sex and romance and intimacy? I think part of the reason Beholder's always been such an interesting, engaging fest has something to do with its heterotopic qualities. It offers us this alternative space that encourages us to imagine the world differently. (Magnetic Pole)[7]


  1. ^ hp_beholder on InsaneJournal. Interim Mod Announcement! 06 March 2008. (Accessed 16 April 2012.)
  2. ^ hp_beholder profile on InsaneJournal. (Accessed 16 April 2012.)
  3. ^ a b hp_beholder: Final HP Beholder Master List and Reveals (accessed 1 June 2014.)
  4. ^ hp_beholder: Two Weeks to HP Beholder! (accessed 11 July 2013)
  5. ^ HP Beholder: Two Weeks to HP Beholder! (accessed 15 February 2014)
  6. ^ perverse-idyll: Snowflake Challenge: Days 2 & 3 (accessed 7 September 2014)
  7. ^ magnetic-pole: Final thoughts on Beholder (accessed 7 September 2014)