Care of Magical Shippers Episode 3 - Tomarry! Tomarry! We love ya, Tomarry!
7:26PM Jun 5, 2021
Megs & Nathan
The following podcast is rated R for really filthy. It includes adult themes and explicit content. So if you're an adult who happens to like themes directly targeting your sexy demographic, then get ready to join us as we ship it good. [whip crack sound]
Due the themes discussed on this podcast, it may contain potentially triggering content, please visit our episode description to review the warnings applicable to this episode.
Hello, it's editing Nathan here, we didn't have very much in the way of a cold open this week. But we thought instead of doing a gag, we would just say Happy Pride Month to everyone. And what better way to celebrate than with some tasty slash fic. Now I think you're going to be able to tell from the minute we kick off that we really enjoyed recording this episode. And that's why it's double the normal length, we did contemplate sort of cutting it in half, but then we thought it would interrupt the flow. So without further ado, let's enjoy Tomarry week. Cheers.
[You're on the canon ground, I'm up in crack ship space. Let's start a shipping war, don't care if I get hate. Don't like my pairings, well, then you can hit the bricks. This is my OTP, I'll go down with this ship. I don't care, I ship it! I don't care. I ship it. I ship it.]
Hey, I'm Megs!
And I'm Nathan.
And welcome back to Care of Magical Shippers the Harry Potter ship culture podcast.
So this week, we're getting into slash ships, which I am super stoked about that is 100% my jam, what I read what I write. So now we're going to be talking about Tomarry, which I am really excited about. I did not know anything about this ship before looking into this. And when we decided to do this, and we realized it is a relatively popular ship, but I hadn't really known that it existed or what it was. And diving in. I am just I don't have I obviously will find words to talk about this.
But I love it so much. Just the aspect of that angst the dynamic between the hero and the villain coming together and falling in love and just oh gosh, it's just like the angst of it. Oh, it's so good. Because of course I love Drarry I love Snarry. But this one is to a new level because when it comes to Draco and Snape, you have two characters that obviously we see as villains, but we can redeem them, like even in canon give us tools to be able to redeem them because of either past traumas
or examples of why and how they became the, you know, the assholes that they did
become, and we're able to fall in love with them regardless of that. But when it comes to Voldemort and Tom Riddle, from the very beginning, he's evil, we see the elements from in the orphanage of torturing children, and having no remorse for it, finding fun in it. So it was really hard for me from the get go to see how a character like that could be redeemed, and of course, inevitably have a love story. You know, with Harry.
Yeah. And what it like, I think this is gonna be one of those occasions where we just end up agreeing the entire time.
because when I started investigating the ship, I was like, this has to be an example of one of the most curious things
I could think of because like you say, it's friends to lovers, but then the extreme version, like the ultimate extreme 1,000% version. And it's like, I can't imagine a situation where a psychopath, like Voldemort becomes redeemable in any way,
whatsoever. And like, and least of all, to Harry, who has this personal stake in the, you know, in the relationship in that his parents died because of Voldemort. And, you know, so many of his friends have died, you know, so much that has happened in the wizarding world. It is a direct result of this terrible stuff that's been happening around him. And how do you reconcile all that
and then suddenly go, oh, I've suddenly stumbled on the love of my life. It doesn't seem like it wouldn't make sense.
When you start, when you start looking into this, you start going, I don't know why I wasn't invested sooner.
This is so it's so golden. Or, People can just write it really well.
Or like something like a shift happened in me where I was fully prepared to hate on this ship and be like I'm you know, not looking forward to discussing fic, and now the tables have turned completely
I was just like, I want to talk about nothing else. I'm. I. It's so magical. It has captured my imagination. I am setting sail with the ship.
[Laughs] Yes, exactly. Same. When I started out, I was like, Okay, I can see how, and starting to read it. Ugh. Ugh. I just I love that, ugh! Because I love time travel, you know how much I love time travel. So because ultimately, there's a lot of instances of that with I like getting the, you know, doing the cross Gen with the Marauders and things like that going from lightning era to marauders. So with this one, it's like an extreme jump. I mean, goodness, you're going from, what is it the you know, the 90s back to the 40s. I mean, that's a huge jump. So taking that into account, I just, I love seeing those characters fall into a new time period and trying to fit in, oh, but for Harry to go back and think I'm going to fix things like it's well known to be that redo ship. Because after everything happens, Harry obviously has from the beginning lost his parents. He's lost friends and family close to him.
And in the story, of course, he gives up the Hallows. So that's another like Master of Death is a huge trope that they focus on. He's like, I have all three, therefore I am essentially protected. So if I go back, I can change things and have that ability to survive. I guess it's not necessary, but I see how that works. But him reaching the point that I if I can go back and make things different, knowing what happened, I'm going to try. And so sometimes it's going back and he adopts him, you know, sometimes he adopts Tom and tries to help raise him better than it ultimately eventually grows into something else.
But usually it's an instance of going back starting off at Hogwarts. And you know, either they become friends or he's just kind of lingering and watching Tom. Because of course, we know that Tom sees love as a weakness. And Harry has been told and eventually believes that love is his greatest strength. So we kind of see both sides of that is if Harry as we go forward. Tom is obviously a very manipulative person,
he knows how to manipulate people to get essentially what he wants.
Oh, for sure.
So I could see him, like wooing anybody. So whether it's Harry when he's there, for whatever reasons he decides he wants to do so. Harry, I just we just can see him like flubbing and flailing himself around being like, Yeah, no, I'm not going to get sucked in. But then he's totally sucked in.
Yes. Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
I just yeah, I can so see that so then you you could see Voldemort or Tom, in this instance, being like, you know, love is your your weakness, but then Harry could then use said love to hopefully make Tom into a better person. However, that's possible, you know, it's still kind of depends on the fic or is up to debate, but I just think that conflicting of the good and the bad, the pro love anti love with those two is just, it's so delicious. I love it so much.
Yeah. And and it builds on something that I wanted to talk about as well, which is that Harry is an unintentional Horcrux
or like part of him is an unintentional Horcrux. So there's a part of Voldemort, literally inside him already.
[laughs] Hello. Er, and what happens then is that you get this potential as well, for Voldemort to pick up on the fact that there is a part of himself that he has cut himself off from
that is literally that he has a chance to win back,
And I can, and I can absolutely buy that Voldemort is in love with himself. That is the one thing
That in watever context, I can absolutely buy that he loves himself enough to be like, do you know what I'm seeking this out. That's got to be my redemption, I'm reclaiming that part of myself.
And the fact that Harry just happens to be there is a plus for him. Because, you know, it's, you know, he can use that superficial charm and, you know, and go out and, and snag the Chosen One. So this is all
I can see that being part of some grand agenda. But you know, personally, I just think we like a redemption arc as well.
No matter how implausible that is.
We just love. We love to see, we especially love to see things that we would never have thought could work
turned on their heads and suddenly become incredible. Oh, you know, I love to see that. Anyway, I know you love to see it. And I think
Yes, yep. I love to read it write it Yeah. 100%
and now it's over to you, listeners. [laughs]
Yes! [laughs] We want, yeah, we want to see more, show us more. Um. But yeah, like you said, I mean, granted, as we see Tom and Voldemort develop, eventually he reaches a point that obviously he his soul breaks up enough that eventually he's no longer really human. And he loses his, you know, obviously, it was known as very attractive, and using that to manipulate so I don't know, I guess I could see since you, you mentioned the loving himself, like when he was younger, and knows that he's handsome or attractive and wants to manipulate and has a self obsession thinks he's so I'm so great. I deserve to rule over everybody. And I have all the answers. And to see the elements of himself that he thinks makes himself unique and powerful, like, say, the Parseltongue, Harry, only,
he only can speak Parseltongue because he became that Horcrux
he got elements directly from him. So like you said, Tom can see himself in Harry. And so he's drawn to him. He doesn't know why there's some reason why he's drawn to Harry. So ultimately, if that wasn't there, not that we can't make the craziest and weirdest and rarest of ships happen, like I anything is possible. But without that, I think a lot of the more important reasons that really is a strong foundations of that if Harry hadn't been as Horcrux it wouldn't, it wouldn't be as intense as, as it has become. And I just, Oh, I love it so much.
Absolutely. I mean, they say a villain is only as good as the hero and vice versa.
And I feel like the reason that they ship works so well is that they're both such that the the the hero and the anti hero, the hero and the villain. And they're both such opposite poles. So when they collide you, um, you have this explosive volatility that happens and what, what writers can do with that, and what fanfic does with that really excites me that is, that has such potential because when we see it in the books, you have this, it's almost very two dimensional, you know, you have Harry realizing he's the Chosen One,
going off to fight the war, doing what has to be done, you know, putting on his your Savior complex cloak and going off to
fight the battle. And then Voldemort being like, I'm supposed to be super powerful. What the fuck is this brat doing here?
You know, I, I, the the, um, the juxtaposition is, really, it's that one note all the way through the books and not that that's not terrific. But when you when you play about with it, and fanfiction, and you add potentially romantic elements, it just, it gives that frenetic quality, that they have that much more depth.
I'm sure it's out there, there has to be like a Beauty in the Beast AU.
Oh, Yes. [laughs]
[laughs] There has to be. Harry is Belle and Tom is the Beast and then the, you know, between the Stockholm Syndrome
and getting him to melt and fall in love and find love. Because that's the biggest thing is we assume based on some things that have been discussed in, you know, by JK or others that because Tom was conceived under a love potion, he doesn't have the ability to love whether that's true or not. It depends on how we perceive it to be. So the the challenge you think about the challenge of how how he could learn that and just from Harry and and what it would take to do that is also really interesting, because that just sounds like the biggest challenge ever to like how do you teach sympathy and empathy to a complete, you know, psychopath narcissist that just has no you know, desire to think or feel or worry about other people. Everyone is a pawn. Everyone is a means to an end. And he, I have loved being able to see how Harry is able to do that. And a lot of times he's unaware that he's doing it because one Harry is there to change things. And he draws he either draws him in because of the Horcrux thing like he's,
Tom would be really interested in like, who is this and why do I feel this pull toward him? And Harry is trying so hard to I mean, he either has to kind of build a relationship but at the same time he has the conflicting like, he's this terrible person who killed my friends and family, but then also, holy shit. He's so hot. [Laughs]
But he's so hot! [laughs] And he's gonna He's, he's like, I will not fall for this guy or whatever. And then inevitably does. And I just think that it's just so interesting that Harry, of course, is going to fall and fall hard. But then how long would it take? Or would Tom then fall back for him? Or is he just see Harry as more of a possession, someone to covet someone who one of his obviously one of the people that follow and worship him, but to like a closer degree, maybe he has this misconstrued feeling of what love could be, he doesn't quite understand it, but to have someone behave or feel in a way toward him, that makes him feel good, but he feels like he deserves it. I don't know, I just this ship, it's so much.
It's so much fun. And it's, it's so good. I mean, it goes right back to your Bella and Beast analogy, like Bell essentially learns and grows by being trapped in a castle. And, you know, Harry does the same thing [laughs]
for six years. And then I just feel like, of course, there's more, you know, there's more nuance and intricacy and stuff to unpack. But the broad theme of Beast sees something that he needs, it's like that, like Belle is a means to an end for him. Because
if he doesn't redeem himself, by the time the last petal falls or whatever, then he will be cursed forever. And I sort of feel like Voldemort would look on Harry in much the same way.
Like, he is very much an object a symptom of a problem that needs to be fixed. And it's, and it's great to see how the transition from that to Oh, hang on, there might be more behind this is executed. And that's what I've enjoyed looking for in fics that ship, this ship.
Did. Did that make sense? [laughs]
Yes. Fics that ship this ship. [laughs]
Oh, and one big one that I know that we have talked about on our own, and I'm excited to get into is the Legilimancy Occlumency
aspect of it.
we don't see a lot of it, which is surprising. Obviously, Voldemort is a very accomplished Legilimens. He must use that to his advantage when it comes to him, manipulating people, he has to be in everyone's heads.
I'm sure he knows how to read people. But there's no better way to know and find weakness and ability to control someone than knowing exactly what they're thinking. So for Harry to go back in time, and have this plan to essentially change him for the better. How is Tom oblivious to this for like, you know, three quarters of a fic or of whatever, he doesn't use it. And it's just surprising, but it is one of those things that either the author just either ignores, you don't think about. But when you think about Tom, as a character, and all his potential as an individual outside of this, bringing it in, I'm just I'm really interested because Harry is shit at Occlumency,
we know that, that is canon, there's no way he could protect his mind.
So I just then would Tom say something? Would he know? and play it off like he doesn't? Or would he find out and then completely come for Harry, and it's even more of a challenge for Harry to really change things or convince him that he needs to change because his downfall is inevitable? like Harry can show him Hey, you died. I built you, or whatever. Or look who you are now, even if it's Harry's still in school, be it Sixth Year or something like that. It's Yeah, he Why, why he doesn't use it. And so many fics is just beyond me.
Yeah, I know, I sort of feel like a part of that as well is that Harry doesn't see his emotional sort of leakage, for want of a better word, as a vulnerability, he would definitely see it as a strength because as you say, he's had it sort of drilled into him that love is a strength and he's come to believe it. And so feeling strongly for Harry and being this creature of instinct that doesn't really do much preparation beforehand, but just, you know,
throws himself into the center of the situation. And it trusts that the process will work trust that the the love will win the day. I don't really think he is doing very much that he cares very much to think, Oh, well, I better mask my feelings or my intentions
because this will foil my plans if he gets in my head.
I think it comes back to Harry feeling like he's already won because he has in a sense,
Mhm. Mhm, mhm.
you know, he's like, well, I beat him once I can do it again.
I don't need to worry about how my feelings like at the overflow of my feelings. And as as for Tom, I sort of feel like he's maybe able to get such a good read on people, because he's seen them for a long time,
or he's been he's observed them and kept quiet and just sort of
Had a read on them. Exactly. Yeah, he's been. he's a he's an A one lurker. Yeah, he's totally a lurker. And I just sort of feel because these fix like hurry bursting onto the scene doesn't give Voldemort a lot of time to know who this character is. And like you say, maybe there's something that he he's able to pick up on that it's a part of him, but he doesn't really know how it fits like something is off.
So maybe Voldemort is thrown off by his own sense of power being knocked off kilter?
Yeah. And something going back to the love thing. I was just thinking how even though Harry, even though Harry cares for people and we see him he obviously has love for his friends and his ultimately family that he finds outside of blood. But as far as romantic loves, he doesn't have a good track record. He doesn't know he doesn't know how to handle romantic love. I mean, the whole Cho thing just crash and burn. Crash and burn. Ginny was like a short thing. And of course you I mean, obviously in canon, eventually they end up together, but in my opinion, I feel like it was kind of one of those fleeting things of like, you've always been there and I finally see that you're kind of hot and we have a lot in common. So let's try this.
You are correct. You are 100% correct. [laughs]
[laughs] So after the war, like obviously then we can do epilogue what epilogue whatever we want. If Harry goes back in time, one Tom doesn't know how to love period. But Harry doesn't know how to handle romantic love.
And ultimately a lot of times is completely oblivious. How the heck are these two guys navigating that? How is this even happening? If not by complete accident? Like they just like it's one of those stories that it's just they don't see it until it's obv- It's apparently there. And it's just like, oh, shit, like, I am in love with this person. And I didn't know what's happening, because I can't see it for what it is. And I love that too. I love that you read the story. And even in even from our point of view, we can be like, oh, Harry, [laughs]
say you're, you're saying and thinking these things because of you know, for certain reasons that I know you can't see. And I just want to like shake you for it. And but I yeah, I don't Harry doesn't know how, like he doesn't I mean, we don't know until we, you know, know, but that just seems like the craziest part of it is like there's no ability on Tom's end and Harry is like, really kind of flailing as far as romantic love goes. [laughs]
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's I think that's one of the reasons why them being together works so well, because they're both so useless. [laughs]
They're both so oblivious.
And the fact that they're because they're tuned into a really different skill set. Like if you've had your your blinkers on, metaphorically, and you're just chasing power in the case of Tom Riddle,
or you're just chasing that good thing for the rest of the wizarding world, you're not really thinking loins first.
But when you, but when you thrust these characters together in the context of
Sorry, go ahead. [laughs]
[deepens voice] So when you thrust these characters together.
So when you when you bring them together in a, in a context, that is not to do with with the war or with power, and they have to figure out this other stuff that's been bubbling up under the surface,
that's when it gets fun.
Because what I love as a reader is being clued into something before the characters twig that it's happening.
I love the potential for the ability of the reader because we get this in canon as well, when
when Harry is oblivious to a situation and then he finds out very late on in the day, but we've known since you know chapter 10, or whatever
Right? Three books ago. [laughs]
Exactly, exactly. It's like that, but then with more loins in this situation.
Yes, yes. Oh, and that's true. Because even that's another that we could get that physical aspect before getting to the romantic like cuz then there's kind of like that friends with benefits or because you are behaving because of attraction desires for someone regardless of love, because I can see that from Tom's perspective of him being like, okay, I am like I'm I don't know why or I'm into this dude and I'm just I'm gonna, I'm gonna make him mine and it doesn't matter. He's just a thing. And then eventually love happens without them realizing. And I also think about course if like, whether it's Harry in school or after school and goes back, he's a lot of times in fic and slash fic with Harry, he has to figure out that he's either bi or gay. And we have to let go through that journey with him. So I feel like when it comes to him going back to Tom. Tom is his first crush,
If you really think about it. 12 years old, he sees 16 year old Tom Riddle, and he's like, well, look at that handsome man. Look [laughs] look at him!
Oh, my God. Yes!
To see him again, has to spark something like in addition to hate, animosity, knowing who is gonna become but then also realizes he's not that person yet. And he's still hot. Like, I remember I remember thinking at 12 like, Okay, he's a good looking guy. But now Harry's an adult. And he's like, aw damn, like, [laughs] look at that!
So that is, I think that's a huge part of driving from Harry's from canon is like, you already know Harry is attracted to him, and then having to navigate around hating him. Oh, but then ultimately, then it gives room for hate sex, which is equally amazing.
So yeah, like, Oh, it's like, I hate you so much. But uh!
So, it's uh, yeah. Oh, gosh, there's so many reasons to love this. I just, I thought, I thought I had my OTPs. It's like, I thought I knew what I liked and what I like to read and then I read this stuff. And I just want more of this.
I mean, I still love the other stuff. But I just the the hero slash villain.
it's just always just so good.
To be fair, I feel like this might happen with more or less every single ship we cover,
because you can't possibly read everything.
I just feel like we're going to discover so much more
that we love that, that you know that we're sitting here now talking about Tomarry. But you know, we could be talking about anything else
that we see that we love. And the same stuff could apply. You know, but this is why I'm just so glad that this pod exists
because we get to do this week on week, and I'm just so happy about it.
Yeah. And then seeing the different characters like Harry obviously, is shipped with a bajillion people. [laughs]
We just see Harry slash whoever. So to be able to create a Harry that fits within this ship. Like with Tom, what would that look like? Like, obviously, we see a lot of like oblivious Harry, or he's just kind of like going through life like, Oh, yeah, like if it's after school, I am going to be an Auror. Because that's what I think is supposed to happen.
Or I'm going to be with Ginny, because I think that's what's supposed to happen. And he just kind of existing, and then find someone and then things change, realizing what he was missing is there like either with Drarry or something like that. But then going back, he's going back in time with so many emotions. It's not like he's oblivious, or just kind of coasting and figuring out life after Voldemort. He's going back with the the trauma, the pain, the desire to change things, and his like, deep hatred of Tom and Voldemort. And so to just have all these, these feelings, everything has to be emotions driven. So I mean, Harry has his instincts. But ultimately, when we are focused on emotion, we don't always make the best decisions.
No. That is so true.
It's interesting to see in comparison, like oblivious Harry doing things stupidly, because he's oblivious, and we're just like, Oh, my God, Harry, seriously, but when you're emotional, and you're doing or avoiding or saying things, and then of course, we're like, oh, my gosh, that was heavy. And you have no idea how impactful that is on a, b, and c. And I just, I love that. And oh, oh, oh, oh, sorry. I'm just getting. So I'm so excited. So because Harry has this like animosity for Tom he's used to being wor- like worshiped, adored, looked up on he has, you know, he's become Prefect eventually Head Boy he has all these followers, girls and probably guys alike,
are just like mooning over him and just think he's so beautiful and smart. And here comes Harry, out of nowhere, and he's just like you're the fucking worst man.
And he's just like, why are hate me? Why do you hate me? Just because just because I, you know, you have justifiable reasons to hate me. Why do you hate me? And so then it takes Tom has the opportunity to try and change that, like he sees that as equal enough of a challenge to convince Harry to not hate him just as much as Harry is to try and make Tom not evil
I love that it's like that criss cross of like, I'm gonna make you different and I'm gonna make you different and we're just gonna like bam, we're gonna like clash. And then eventually that clashing is going to become physical and we're ready for it.
So ready for it? [laughs]
The physical manifestation of 1000 different conflicts going on right there. I am. So I'm so about it.
Because, like you said, with the thing of wanting to change each other, it's riffing on the conflict that we've already seen with the both of them where you know, at the end of book seven that you have, they have the epic battle. And it is both of them fighting for the the ultimate truth of what they believe.
Except that when you see it in, in microcosm form in that small way, when they're sort of, with with Tom as Prefect, and Harry having gone back through time, it is that same thing, but in an entirely different context,
Where they're the same people, but because of what they've gone through or not gone through. You get to renegotiate how all of that plays out. And I love that. I love that.
Yeah, absolutely. I just oh, there's just so there's so many good things I just like I don't even know how to stop talking about this. I just now of course, I want to find more fics right now. I want to go on AO3 and find more stuff because I'm just so thirsty for all of this. I just I love I love their dynamic and ultimately, Oh, another Okay, so tangent but related, I think it's really interesting when it comes to this ship, how many AUs, like Muggle AU stories the- there are?
because I and I see it from aspect of is it because people like these two characters like individually and they want to see them together, even if it's not like canon driven, because there's just whether it's um, we've seen like, Healer, Healer Draco and I are not sorry. We see like Healer Tom and either Auror Harry or just, it's just like normal life of like Tom being in Harry's modern life, but it's just a character that happens to be named Tom Riddle with his personality traits, which I think is really interesting. Whereas Of course, I read and write things that can be pulled from Canon like that fit and fit in with canon, I love being able to do and manipulate that. But it's also really interesting that so many people love to read and write something that has a tiny bit to do with the Harry Potter fandom and world. It's essentially it's like I'm taking the characters and doing whatever the heck I want with them. So I think it's really cool. But personally, I don't know why I don't read stories like that I don't, it's not something that I'm drawn to. But a lot of people want to take these characters and in this instance, Tom and Harry, and put them in another situation where then they can find their romantic love around a completely different environment and setting which is Yeah, which is really interesting.
I just realized that I should probably button with a sidebar here and address you, dear listener directly. Because what you can't see is I'm nodding along vigorously. I don't have enough synonyms for Yeah,
to be like, mhm. mhm. in the background. But it's just a symphony of vigorous agreement is happening right now, for my end. It's just because Meg is making so many salient points.
And I'm like, like, I don't want to interrupt the flow.
And I can think of other things to say, but I also I don't cut you off. And so I'm just like, I'm just here going. Mhm. Mhm. This is my contribution to the podcast.
It's just, it's just sitting here nodding and you have no idea what's happening.
So what you were saying about people wanting to have proxies for Harry and Tom
to satisfy their romantic inclinations. I also feel like people might be drawn to this ship. Because if Harry goes back in time to try and change things with Voldemort, he is literally using his past trauma to heal his scars. And so you get the
literal manifestation of seeing the catharsis that you didn't, even in the epilogue of book seven because you're sure you see what happens with Harry's kids and the you know, they go off to Hogwarts, but you don't really get any emotional closure for those characters
and I sort of feel like part of the reason why Harry Potter fanfic does so well, is that it gives you so much wiggle room to be like, yeah, that's fine, and that's okay. And I can accept that canon but now I want my emotional backstory.
You know what better scenario to do that in than with these two? Because this is the central dynamic that has fueled this whole series.
Yes. Yep. It's it's, it's literally even you think about [laughs] you think about the stupid, sorry, stupid scene in the movie where Harry like grabs on to Voldemort. It's like, it's just you and me, Tom or whatever
Oh, yeah. Oh, my God.
and they just throw themselves off the castle parapet or whatever.
Yes. Oh, my God, that is so stupid!
It is stupid. But I thinking of that it's true. It is. It's just you and me this whole time, everything else has just been extra is just extra stuff going on. And it's ultimately been Harry versus Voldemort this entire time, whether it's just been in the background looming, it's there that we know from the beginning. That's the end, that is the end game. So yeah, of course, we're going to connect those two and want to keep that connection and add more to it. Like you said, we don't get other emotional things or see too much into the the character in relationship to those two together. And we're able to do that and give emotion and convince us that's the biggest thing I love is being convinced that either of these characters could feel and be a way that we wouldn't assume, especially with Tom, when we've read, I would assume that he wouldn't know how to love or get to that point. But when I read and see him like thawing, essentially, like you see him sort of realizing his choices and decisions aren't necessarily good. And he's discovering how to feel and see things in people other than just a means to an end.
and I love I love seeing that I love seeing Tom all of a sudden become an emotionally driven character that was essentially lacking all emotion, everything was he had a mask on, he was faking everything. So to see him actually be vulnerable and feel and also were, but then you see, like the Harry or even us can't believe it, like he'll do and say things and Harry's gonna be like, I know, you're just saying that because you know what it's doing to me. And of course, Tom's like, No, seriously, like, when are you gonna believe me that I actually, you know, care about you,
or I'm not gonna do this or whatever. And just that trust factor in any relationship that has to come out of it. That would take a long time and not necessarily would ever really come to fruition. Like when I think of Tom and Harry, even if it comes together as this really passionate relationship that makes sense, for reasons it's, there's the trust thing is going to be a problem long term. I just, I just feel like it would be easy for Harry to be a bit hesitant to be 100% in. If that makes sense.
Oh, absolutely. Totally. Absolutely. So I'm going to get a little bit nerdy now. Because I can
[laughs] It's my podcast. [laughs]
It's my podcast, I can do what I want. Shut up.
Are you familiar with something called the dark triad of personality, because psychologists talk about it. And it's basically this grouping that narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths are all lumped in. And basically, what all three of those groups have in common is that they're able to project this kind of superficial confidence and superficial charm. And they have, they're able to trick people into thinking that they can be empathetic
without actually displaying any sincerity behind what they say.
And so I absolutely buy that Harry has trouble trusting Voldemort, because like, he has no basis to believe that Voldemort is coming from anything other
than serving his own selfish self interest. And what I'm interested in and I know that you love this too, is seeing that sort of jumpstart moment
when we go from seeing Tom as this unfeeling self serving best narcissist and at worst psychopath to becoming somebody that suddenly feels
and there is there a different twist trip switches, excuse me, to make that happen. But I love seeing how writers negotiate that in a way that makes it seem like it's not just like he wakes up one morning and Oh, he's a completely different
Yes, exactly. Wait a minute, I feel things. [laughs]
Yeah. [laughs] So I was I was actually gonna ask you, how do you feel like this ship from what you've what you know of it so far compares to other tropes that you love, like Snarry, and like, Harry slash Draco, because I know that you love
those sorts of pairings.
And I know they're obviously similarities there but like what for you makes this ship standout compared to those two that I know you love.
[laughs] I know. So when it comes to Drarry obviously we have from canon we're like, okay, they've been obsessed with each other forever. So eventually you're like, Okay, yeah, they're gonna figure out they're gay and obviously they're gonna get together
because they've been in love with each other this whole time.
Uh, huh. Yup.
Kind of its enemies to lovers, but it's something expected like we read it we're like, oh, yeah, like that. That obviously is the end game
like that is exactly what is supposed to be. And we love that we love it because we all just love Draco as a character, especially fanfic Draco and the relationship is so fun because Draco is very snarky.
and Harry's just usually oblivious and dorky and and then Draco makes fun of him for it and they just work and when it comes to Snarry, so I feel like we're getting on like an upward trajectory
of yeah Drarry being that like the fluffy enemies to lovers
because it just has that potential to have that angst but then lots of fluff then we get to Snarry, where Snarry is obviously depending on how it's done, usually it has the like soulmate trope where we focus on the patronuses, Snape has the doe not for Lily, but for Harry's stag, and the self hatred of Snape trying to ignore the fact that he either knows that they're soulmates or has feelings for Harry, and Harry is the child of his childhood crush or love, as well as this childhood bully. So there's so much angst and opportunity for that hurt comfort.
so you're getting a little bit more of that conflicts that we do get in Drarry but it's like it's deeper than that it starts getting a darker level. And so once we get to Tomarry ultimately, like we had mentioned earlier, it's easy to redeem Draco.. It's not as easy but we are able to redeem Snape. When it comes
to Tom slash Voldemort. It's hard for us to give it any sort of redeeming quality. So for especially for an author to convince us otherwise is amazing. Especially because I know it's possible. I know that I'm going to go right now after this and start writing my own Tomarry.
But it's so much darker and deeper because there is that that that true hate like yeah, Harry and Snape never got along. Snape was a dick and hated his dad. And so they're going to have that conflict. But it's not to the depth that Snape didn't kill his parents like you think of it like, how could someone fall in love with the person who eventually kills his parents? It seems impossible. It seems impossible,
so it's amazing when someone is able to convince us otherwise. And that's what I love about enemies to lovers is convinced me why this makes sense. And this is possible and how I can empathize with the villain so that I myself fall in love with them too [laughs]
Exactly, exactly. And I do you know, I'm reminded of that quote of Dumbledore's where he says something like, it is not our abilities that determine who we truly are, it is our choices.
And so I feel like in the context of Tomarry. What's really interesting about that is that if Harry goes back in time, as he often does in
Tomarry, fics, he's going back in time to a certain point where Voldemort hasn't made Tom Riddle hasn't made all the choices that make up the Voldemort persona yet.
So is he is he still going back to face the same evil that
he was victorious against? Or is he going back to face what is essentially a different person who can make potentially different choices that send the character down a completely different path? That's what fascinates me.
Yes. And I think that something that I didn't think about, but have found to be when I started reading the fics is, I never thought about the fact that the more Voldemort obviously split his soul, you start with half a soul like his whole soul, half then it breaks again. So it's a quarter of a hole, then we get an eighth of a hole and it just keeps going. So his sanity breaks like each time he breaks his soul and becomes lesser of himself. Mentally we see that too. He becomes insane. So of course, his the what we see as evil and lack of empathy. We obviously see the the memories from Dumbledore when he's trying to show Harry where Voldemort came from, and obviously he had those evil tendencies like we mentioned before, about harming other kids his age, he potentially has the most of him, depending on when Harry goes back, whether it's before he even makes the, you know, makes the diary or starts going into making the horcruxes. Tom has as much of his humanity as he can have. So having that ability to find however small, like you think of like How the Grinch Stole Christmas,
where it's like his, his heart grew three sizes that day or whatever
having that moment where all of a sudden, he starts feeling things that were just an ember, like deep down that he thought was insignificant or weakness, obviously, that tiny ember is going to become non existent with the Voldemort we see at the end, because he ultimately is barely human, they had to make a body for him.
When Harry Met him, quote, unquote, in his second year, that's half of Voldemort, like that's half of Tom. So it's still a good amount of him. So depending on when Harry goes back, there's humanity to play with, there are pieces that are probably very deeply repressed that Harry could needle his way into and bring to the surface versus it's harder for me when it comes to Harrymort to see how that would have connect aside from the soul situation of like, Harry has a missing piece of him and they're drawn together. But that was an interesting aspect of we see Tom at his most human point before he starts making the Horcruxes.
Yeah, and I think as well, one of the really interesting things that you can take from that is, it depends on the author, it depends on the characterization
of Voldemort that day, whether we're dealing with a psychopath, because psychopaths are born, or a sociopath, because sociopaths are made there.
They sort of respond to the social environment that they grow up in. So is Tom always evil? Or does he is his evil, really a product of the the social environment, the orphan edge,
the, the, you know, the lack of love in his early life, that is then feeding out into these malefic adult behaviors, you know, it? It's a really interesting idea. And I think, that has a lot to do with how redeemable he is,
in the context of whatever it might happen to be. Because whether or not you buy that he has much of his soul left to earn back
is essential to whether you can believe that he can somehow become more himself again.
And therefore love Harry, or whoever it happens to be.
Yes. And another element I've seen in fic, so if it's after Voldemort has died, obviously, Harry no longer has the piece of Voldemort in him. But if he does, when he goes back, he still contains part of Tom's soul. So he can see that in Harry and they're drawn to each other. But also, we see the element of Harry becoming the good in him like him, either teaching that part of his soul to be good to love.
And so them being drawn together, either unify the soul again, or at least because Tom can feel the connection to a piece of him for Harry to manipulate that because it's attached to him as a person and his soul and his choices. It's almost teaching Tom's soul to behave and think differently.
Absalutely. Absolutely. That that's such a lovely way
to think about that. I had never thought about that before.
I didn't until justice second. So. Here we are.
See, we're both learning and growing as a direct result of this ship right now.
This is why this matters.
Yes! [laughs] 100%. So on the element of if we assume that Tom is a sociopath, and looking back at like I like to do let's look at childhood trauma, because I love that whoop, whoop, childhood trauma,
let's do this. So [laughs] So, ultimately, one he grows up in an orphanage
and probably gets little to no affection. And he eventually learns that obviously his mother brought him to an orphanage had him and died.
And when he discovered that he was a wizard, and who his mother was, and that she was a witch, the fact that she gave up and gave him up regardless, she obviously potentially could have survived but just realized, you know what, I have no reason to live even though I have a child coming into this world. So him to just resent that part of her and then of course, knowing that his father abandoned them both.
So of course, he has that assumption that all Muggles are bad and then he's named after His father so he hates so then there's also a little bit of say a self hatred. That's why he wants to change his name because he doesn't want anything to do with his Muggle father's name, there's just a lot of a lot of experiences that he goes through at a young age and until he discovers that he is a wizard that really would have an effect on him. And so he obviously discovers that he can do things differently before he realizes that it's really magic that he has different powers than just
Yeah. Of course.
being a regular human
and he's able to like lure children and do like I think he What is it he like kills like a rabbit or someone's pet or something by
and is is like up in the banisters or something super messed up that it's a How would it even have gotten up there? And he just realizes that he has the ability to manipulate things? And even though it seems absolutely absurd, what is it the matron of the orphanage does say to Dumbledore is like a he went off somewhere with these kids, and they never were quite right afterwards,
and they can't know what happened. It's, uh, yeah, I don't know.
It's, it's a really interesting moment that because I come away from that moment, so often feeling like that wasn't addressed enough.
You know, if if I come away from that moment feeling like, as a child, if you don't know behavior is bad. If that is not reinforced,
you will, you'll get the idea that you have free rein to do what you want to do.
And obviously, when you add the magical element into that, you know, that's going to give him an overinflated sense of ego before you even start to factor in how he can manipulate other people and have his Hocus Pocus moment
where he's going, you know, come little children
I'll take thee away
it's totally totally what that is, you know,
Oh, gosh, yes.
obviously, it's a little bit darker than that,
Yes. A little bit. [laughs]
but but extensively the same thing. So. So what that leaves you with is annoyance. I think, personally, I'm annoyed at Dumbledore
at moments like that. Because if he just said, you know, because all he really did was set the wardrobe on fire,
And then say like behavior like that won't be tolerated at Hogwarts.
But but it's what he doesn't say at that moment, which is like, Well, I'm not going to really give a crap about your behavior until you get to Hogwarts theory,
He's not nurturing enough in that moment to go, No, here's where we're going to set you on the straight and arrow
and really make sure that you're looked after. It's like now I'm just gonna go and I leave you until until I see you at Hogwarts.
In x amount of years.
Yeah, because they because Dumbledore offers or to have himself or someone accompany him to Diagon Alley
to get his things. And Tom is like, No, I'm good. I can do this. Who leaves an 11 year old to go get all his school stuff?! Like one, how does he know where to go?
And two I just how is that even possible? Especially because they talked about some sort of not really scholarship money, but they have, you know,
Yeah, they have like a hardship fund.
Yes. Yeah. Something like that. So obviously, they need to be able to get some of that to him. And they just how do you leave? Yeah, who leaves an 11 year old to do all these things? It just shows how much he's had to grow up and be an adult at such a young age
that he's like, Yeah, no, it's fine. I'll go get my stuff. No big deal. Because Dumbledore from the get go could show him. It's okay to rely on other people like him to just shut him down and be like, Hey, I'll be here for you and like two weeks and we'll go get your stuff. And even if Tom's like, No, no, no, I want to do this by myself. It's like, Well, you know, tough luck. We're going together, you know,
have that Hagrid Harry situation.
Yes. Yeah, you're spot on. But now that I think about it, you know, Dumbledore does the same thing with Harry,
where he leaves Harry on the doorstep of the Dursleys.
like, in the middle of the night when it's freezing cold in England,
like and I you know, I just I can't get over how irresponsible that is.
I know. I know this the whole you know, the the family magic thing and that the blood ties will make sure that he's not harmed while he calls Privet Drive home and everything else. But I mean, he has to know
He puts the letter on the baby. I mean,
let Petunia know. Like you know, obviously they you've known all day everyone's drinking having fun that Voldemort has gone. I mean, you had all day. McGonagall has been sitting on a wall
literally all day
Yes, she has.
starts at breakfast time. Why has no one shown up
to talk to the Dursleys directly? He's just like, yeah, putting the baby here putting a letter.
Hopefully they'll read it. I mean, it's just it just it's bizarre that man we could I mean, I don't want to go down the Dumbledore rabbit hole, but oh my gosh, that man. [laughs]
I mean, I, you know, I won't say too much more, but I just think it's insipid for such a champion of Oh, love well out, you know, love will win the day to be like, oh, but I'm going to leave all these kids to their own devices. And, and I'm going to employ completely ineffectual staff members. And I'm just going to do what I want to do. Because I'm Dumbledore. And no one questions me, [laughs] you know
I just sort of feel like it's rich for Dumbledore to lecture anybody on moral responsibility when he his own attitudes to it fluctuate so much.
And I wouldn't have talked about Dumbledore at all. But the thing one of the other elements that ties Harry and Tom together is Dumbledore
is because Dumbledore has maneuvered himself into this position of Okay, I'm the only one that Tom ever feared because I can, you know, match his power, blah, blah, blah. And Harry, you know, has to be nurtured and grow into this bastion of love to ultimately overcome him. And it's, they're both really, in different ways manipulated by Dumbledore, to fill the positions that they do. And that is really interesting to me. So it'll be interesting to see if any of that plays out in the fic that we read as well.
Absolutely. So I'm really excited for our next episode, because we are going to be reading a Tomarry fic which looks really really good.
Oh, my God, it looks so good.
I'm so excited. There's Pansy in there a time travel and it's just,
oh, it's gonna be so good. So it's called The Love of a Good Wizard by SweetSorcery. And we'll have the link in the description, obviously. So go ahead and check it out and give it a read before we release that episode, so you know, whatever the heck we are talking about, and we're really looking forward to actually getting down into a fic specifically, and it's going to be so much fun. Okay, Nathan.
Do you go down with this ship?
[laughs] I couldn't tell. I couldn't tell. Oh my gosh, we are so deep. I mean, we are down there we are so far down.
I am so into this ship. I'm so excited to have picked it so that we could read it so we could look into it.
My My life is for ever changed. That is for sure.
It is I mean, I am drenched. I am soaked in the shift. I am loving it. And it's so good.
Goodbye lifeboats goodbye life vests. We are good. I'm fine. I'm drowning. I am just I am ready.
Yeah, I'm just drinking it in.
[laughs] So we would love to know if you also go down with said ship. Or if you're just like no not for me. So it definitely tweet at us @magicalshippod on Twitter. Let us know your thoughts and whether we made any sort of sense. And were any type of coherent whatsoever
and so [laughs] yeah, so we look forward to hearing from you and getting to talk about the new fic with you. So we will see you well. No, we won't see you. We will! [laughs] We will talk to you. We'll talk at you next time and it's gonna be so great. [laughs]
I ship it!
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