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Thread: Reactions to a Metamorphagus

  1. #1
    Euphrates
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    Reactions to a Metamorphagus

    All right. I recently had an idea for a one shot (maybe a short chaptered fic). It's a study of one life of a Metamorphagus. I have it planned out except for a brief overview of her life at Hogwarts. I was wondering - what *negative* reactions would people have to a Metamorphagus? In the books, the only Metamorphagus we see is Tonks (and later Teddy, but there's not much info there), and Ginny and Hermione and everyone else admires what she can do and how the ability is helpful. What reactions could there possibly be to make a Metamorphagus feel outcast or alone? That's basically what I'm looking for.

    The story is a dark one, and supposed to show how the character - Iris Lawson - doesn't like being a Metamorphagus because it makes her feel like she doesn't know who she is. Anything in the negative reaction category would help. Thanks.

    --Kate

  2. #2
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    Well, I think the jealousy factor would be pretty prominent among her peers. Even if everyone did admire her for her abilities, I can see where it would elicit some comments telling her that she's a freak or something of that sort. I don't necessarily think that being a Metamorphagous is harmful in any way, so you might have to play up the way Iris feels like she's perceived. I mean, if she has few close friends and feels like she's ostracised because of the fact that she's different, that could make her feel pretty outcast. Maybe she could be judged right away by some kids who tell her that she's stupid/a freak/doesn't fit in, which would make her pretty insecure during her time at Hogwarts, and have her grow to resent her abilities.

    Hmm, that's all that comes to mind. Good luck!






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  3. #3
    Inverarity
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    There's no indication in the books that there is any stigma against being a metamorphmagus, and most people seem to think it's "cool." It's definitely a very useful ability, and not at all like being a werewolf.

    So I don't think any negative reaction is likely to come purely from the fact that she's a metamorphmagus.

    If you want metamorphmagi to be discriminated against, you'll have to make up something that isn't hinted at in the books, like perhaps metamorphmagi have other traits. A history of insanity, perhaps? Maybe it's not even true that metamorphmagi tend to go insane; maybe just one or two famous ones did, and so wizards tend to believe that they do. Or maybe there was a very famous metamorphmagus who was a terrible Dark wizard, and for that reason, metamorphmagi are looked at with suspicion. (Kind of like how Parseltongue is viewed as a "Dark" trait, because Salazar Slytherin and Voldemort were Parseltongues, even though there does not seem to be anything inherently evil about being able to talk to snakes.)

    Perhaps when a metamorphmagus first manifests his or her abilities, they tend to be uncontrollable, and will unconsciously imitate those around them, both physically and behaviorally. This could be both annoying and disturbing.

    Alternatively, maybe that's not inherent to metamorphmagi in general, but it's what your character does. Perhaps she does not have a strong sense of self, or she's too eager to please and be liked. For whatever reason, she develops a habit of imitating her peers. Making her face look like whoever she's talking to, adopting the physical frame and mannerisms of anyone she's walking next to, etc. It might be unconscious.

    She starts being called "doppleganger" and everyone avoids her because they don't like being imitated. They find her creepy.

    Maybe she just gets involved in a particularly unfortunate incident where she is imitating someone else (for whatever reason) and the case of mistaken identity gets wildly out of hand, causes a complete loss of trust, her classmates start worrying that they never know who they are actually talking to, etc. (Remember the paranoia in the books that led people to constantly suspect Death Eaters using Polyjuice Potion.)

    Yet another idea: if metamorphmagi manifest at a young age, perhaps in her case, she has used her abilities and played with her appearance so much that she is no longer certain what she really looks like. Maybe when she hit adolescence, the usual insecurities about appearance that afflict teens caused her to try to alter and perfect her image, yet she was never satisfied, and now she can never get exactly the same look twice -- she's no longer able to return to her "true form." (This might not even be true! Just as anorexics, for example, look in a mirror and see a fat person, even though they are wasting away, perhaps she looks in a mirror and sees a stranger, some deformity that she hasn't "fixed," even though she's fine.)

  4. #4
    Josh
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    I agree with Lily that there's likely to be jealously and people would probably think she is quite cool. So I think there will be some negative remarks yet only due to them not being able to do it.

    ~Josh

  5. #5
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    This is, maybe, not the sort of answer you want, but it might be useful.

    In HBP when we see Tonks take Harry to the castle, her hair is a mousy brown, and she is depressed. So could the way a metamorphagus looks be affected by their moods? Also, in OotP, I think her hair turns red when someone calls her 'Nymphadora'. She might be controlling all of this, but with the depression thing, I can't see her wanting it to be so blatantly obvious.

    Just my thought.

    Originally posted by Inverarity
    Yet another idea: if metamorphmagi manifest at a young age, perhaps in her case, she has used her abilities and played with her appearance so much that she is no longer certain what she really looks like. Maybe when she hit adolescence, the usual insecurities about appearance that afflict teens caused her to try to alter and perfect her image, yet she was never satisfied, and now she can never get exactly the same look twice -- she's no longer able to return to her "true form."
    I like the idea that by changing your looks so much, you can't remember your true form. I don't think it would be possible not to be able to get one image more than once (if that made sense), though. A metamorphagus can change their image however they want. So forgetting what they really look like - I think that's possible. Trying to go back to how you looked last week - you'd just need to remember what you looked like. Nobody's going to change their whole image every day, especially if they feel alone. They would want to blend in, right?

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Lizzy
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    Yet another idea: if metamorphmagi manifest at a young age, perhaps in her case, she has used her abilities and played with her appearance so much that she is no longer certain what she really looks like. Maybe when she hit adolescence, the usual insecurities about appearance that afflict teens caused her to try to alter and perfect her image, yet she was never satisfied, and now she can never get exactly the same look twice -- she's no longer able to return to her "true form."
    I like this idea. I'm also thinking that they would be under a lot of pressure. People would expect them to be beautiful, and if they weren't someone's idea of perfect, I think they would suffer from a lot of criticism.

    Also, at one point, everyone wishes they could change their appearence one way or another, but you have to learn to accept yourself they way you are. She would suffer a lot with low self-esteem, because she would never learn to accept herself if she kept changing herself.

    I also think a lot of people would try to use her. If you had a friend who could pose as a professor, it would get you out of a lot of trouble.

  7. #7
    Euphrates
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    Yet another idea: if metamorphmagi manifest at a young age, perhaps in her case, she has used her abilities and played with her appearance so much that she is no longer certain what she really looks like. Maybe when she hit adolescence, the usual insecurities about appearance that afflict teens caused her to try to alter and perfect her image, yet she was never satisfied, and now she can never get exactly the same look twice -- she's no longer able to return to her "true form."
    This is actually the basis of this entire story! xD The whole plot is a study of how she fools herself into thinking she doesn't know who she is and ultimately does something about it (haven't decided yet; perhaps suicide? That seems melodramatic though).

    I would take the inherent insanity idea, but she eventually does end up going crazy, and I don't want that to be cheapened by the idea that Metamorphagi just go crazy, anyway, so she's not special.

    All of you have been extremely helpful. Here's an idea I've come up with, a sort of combination of your posts:

    --because kids can be this way, I'm adding the jealousy aspect.
    --also, I like the idea of people using her - it helps add to her loss of self.
    --the culmination of these two things (and the overall feeling of 'who am I?') she starts to imitate peers to try and find herself, leading to her ostracization.

    Before I asked about this, I toyed with the idea of having her change her appearance so much no one knew who they were talking to, but at Hogwarts, where there are that many students, if a student looking like no one you'd ever seen, I think you'd be able to make the conclusion that it was the Metamorphagus. (At least, that's what I thought...)

    Still open to ideas, but I think I'm pretty solid. This part won't be mentioned in detail - I'm not accounting every day of her life, only snapshots showing who she was, how she lost herself, why, and how she died.

    Thanks so much, guys. =)

    --Kate

  8. #8
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Hiya

    I'm actually writing a Tonks fic at the moment. Part of the first chapter revolves around her not being allowed out into the Muggle World because she can't control her powers and so is a threat to the Wizard Secrecy Act (Or whatever it's called).

    This could help with the ostracization she feels.

    Carole
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