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Fanfic / Adam Winters

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The Adam Winters series by Bear12 looks at an alternate version of the Harry Potter franchise where Harry was abducted by Wormtail after Voldemort’s ‘death’ and hidden in some bushes under heavy disguises before Wormtail confronted Sirius. As a result, Harry is raised as an orphan under the name ‘Adam Winters’, his identity concealed by complex charms blocking most magical identification methods and his appearance changed to give him a different hair and eye colour, eventually ending up on the streets before he is found by Professor McGonagall. Starting Hogwarts a year ‘late’ due to his tragic upbringing, Adam swiftly befriends Ginny Weasley, and ends up learning that he is far more than a random orphaned muggle-born…

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The series consists of six stories; Lost, Connections, Revelation, Identity, Traitor and Sacrifice. The author has been dormant for years, and the final story ends in a manner that suggests at least one more chapter, but it is a relatively minor cliffhanger as there is every indication that all important characters will survive the final battle.

The Adam Winters series contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Adam has a few bad experiences with some of his past foster families, who blatantly favoured their own children over him even when he was being honest, although in their defence it was hard for them to consider the idea that magic might be a factor.
  • Ascended Extra: Arguably the case for Ginny, as she goes from being the sister of Harry’s best friend to being Adam’s best friend from the beginning of his time at Hogwarts.
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  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In a sense; rather than being taken down into the Chamber by Harry and Ron and accidentally hitting himself with his own Memory Charm, Lockhart just runs away after Ginny and Adam are taken into the Chamber and is never seen again
  • Demoted to Extra: Can be seen as Adam’s fate in this world, as he starts Hogwarts as just a random orphaned muggle-born nobody has any real reason to pay attention to, rather than Harry immediately attracting the notice of the entire school due to his celebrity status.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Remus Lupin is subjected to the Dementor's Kiss during an attack on the Burrow, although he and Tonks' relationship had developed to the point that she was pregnant before Lupin was Kissed.
  • For Want of a Nail: The whole catalyst of the storyline is Wormtail accompanying Voldemort in the attack on Godric’s Hollow, allowing him to abduct Harry and leave him to be discovered by strangers under various disguise charms
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  • Happily Adopted: It’s never explicit, but after his first year Adam is essentially adopted by the Weasleys, who offer him a place to live as he has nowhere to go in the muggle world and the Ministry’s attempts to find a place for him to stay go poorly
  • In Spite of a Nail: The events of the first two books still take place basically as they did in canon, as does the Triwizard Tournament, although Lupin, Moody and Umbridge all take on their roles as Defence professor a year later than they did in canon and Sirius escapes a year ‘late’ because he sees a different photo of Scabbers (this one showing the Weasleys at the World Cup rather than after winning the prize draw)
  • Loophole Abuse: At one point Adam is essentially accused of underage magic use, but since the protective charms Wormtail used make it hard for the Ministry to identify him as the culprit by name and nobody in the relevant department knew where Adam was staying to help them pin the ‘crime’ on him, Dumbledore decides to let that incident go without pressing charges given the circumstances
  • Mama Bear: Downplayed given McGonagall’s reputation for not showing favouritism, but she often displays a certain fondness for Adam Winters even without knowing his identity of Harry Potter, to the point of hugging him when he reappears during the Battle of Hogwarts and musing how she’d like to strangle Dumbledore if he wasn’t already dead for keeping so many secrets.
  • Nice to the Waiter: In a sense; McGonagall quickly identifies Adam as a good person based on the way he treated her when he thought she was just a cat
  • Noodle Incident: The Philosopher’s Stone being hidden at Hogwarts and Quirrell trying to steal it still took place, but although it is implied that Neville assisted Ron and Hermione in investigating the situation in this reality it is never explicitly revealed what happened in Harry’s absence beyond that Dumbledore dismissed Quirrell as a single rogue dark wizard rather than identifying him as a host for Voldemort’s spirit
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In a sense, as ‘Adam Winters’ is basically Harry with a different hair and eye-colour (spared recognition for so long because nobody was actually looking for any similarity between him and the Potters), although after the disguise charms are broken, Dumbledore also provides Adam with different glasses to wear as ‘Harry’ in order to better distinguish the two.
  • Secret Identity: Adam Winters essentially becomes this for Harry Potter, although as Harry was raised as Adam he tends to think of himself as such and only uses the name ‘Harry’ under specific circumstances, such as accepting it when he’s addressed by his birth name from James and Lily when they’re summoned by the Resurrection Stone.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Cedric Diggory, Mad-Eye Moody and Tonks survive what would have been their deaths in canon, and Lockhart escapes being hit by the backfired memory charm even if he subsequently disappears
  • Suspiciously Similar Characters: Dumbledore adopts this view of Adam at first, as he is struck by the similarities between Adam’s background and Tom Riddle’s history (suggested to be the result of his belief that Quirrell was acting alone making him more cautious/paranoid)
  • Trauma Conga Line: The chain of events that led to Adam living on the streets before he was eleven include being bullied at orphanages to being treated as a freak by a couple who could have become his new parents, all because of his inability to control his magic
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