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While trying on robes at Madame Malkin's, Harry Potter meets a blond boy approximately his age, a pure-blood wizard that seems sure he will end up in Slytherin. Wait... don't we know that story? This time, Harry's first contact with a fellow pupil is not Draco Malfoy, but Theodore Nott, and everything goes in a different way starting when the boys step into the Hogwarts Express.

Hypothèses by Anna Taure and Maître Link is a For Want of a Nail fanfiction where Harry Potter takes another path that leads him into the House of Slytherin, forming new alliances and getting new friends (some alive and some stuck between worlds, some fully human and some... less so) in the process. The enemies, unfortunately, remain the same, and are still hell-bent on killing him.

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Much like the original book series, it starts off rather light-hearted (and with a bunch of parodic references) before getting more serious as it reaches the darker books.

The series was started in 2004. The English translation was in progress, but has since been deleted.


Hypothèses provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: As in canon, Ginny is one, as well as Sarah Cobbyte, Tracy Davis and Daphne Greengrass. Millicent Bulstrode also has her moments.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Sirius, Molly and all the Order of the Phoenix are firmly on the side of good, but depicted as too distrustful of Slytherin and opinionated about what makes a good wizard.
    • The twins' pranks against Percy and Ron are portrayed as mean-spirited and very hurtful to the target, and they both visibly suffer from it.
    • Even Hermione is not spared. In Book one she is her canon self, but while she remains a good friend and valuable part of the group, her snobbishness, bossiness, haughtiness and condescension towards those less intelligent are upgraded. The characters are openly annoyed by her attitude and often deplore that she would gain to be less uptight... When they feel generous.
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  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Percy Weasley is painted in a much more likable light than in canon. He goes to visit Arthur at St Mungo with muggle novels, gives a sympathetic Motive Rant after the family shuns him at Christmas about how he worked hard to get his position and feels bad for desiring more in life than an overcrowded home and second-hand clothing. He gives licences to the twins for their products, actively spies the Death Eater-controlled Ministry and protects his family from behind the scenes, going as far as paying for his now jobless father. To the point that accusing him of hiding behind the powerful away from risk has become his Berserk Button.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted, as Harry and Co never hesitate to call a teacher if they feel they are out of their league (usually, Snape and/or McGonagall)
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  • Aggressive Negotiations: During Book 7, when Harry and Telensk visit the Ministry and Gringotts, they are first very polite, but when they can't get what they need with just diplomacy, they fight and generate chaos in their wake.
  • Animal Motifs: In addition to the four animals representing the founders, the Cobbyte family often uses a dragon-and-snake emblem, and Durmstrang is sometimes referred to as "the dragon's lair" ( understandable, since their once and future headmaster is a dragon). Slughorn is very often compared to a walrus and "ferret" comes back regularly to describe Malfoy.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Mr Nott is this for Theodore since he is a Deatheater, and murdered his wife to prevent her from reporting him to the Ministry. Theodore was the first to find his mother's body.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: In Book 5, right after Sirius claims that Snape trains his Slytherins to become Death Eaters, the professor slaps him. For a moment, Sirius is too stunned to add another word.
  • Asshole Victim: Thicknesse, who is killed by Percy during the second battle of Hogwarts, and Umbridge, who ends up in Telensk's stomach as a late midday meal.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Harry and Snape fight this way for a brief moment during the battle of Hogwarts, while trading some light-hearted snark.
  • Badass Grandpa: Maxmilian Expea, the old Muggle who taught himself to do magic after a stay in India, and beats the crap out of the Ministry agents sent to arrest him, even if he is well in his seventies during book 7.
  • Battle Butler: Sarah's parents have hired several of them to work in their manor. It does not end well for the Deatheaters who tried to attack the house. To be honest, though, one of the butlers is an Igor and the housemaid is a vampire.
  • Berserk Button: Do not, even in joke, imply that Snape is training his students into future Deatheaters. A slap is the least you're likely to receive.
    • Go ahed if you feel brave enough, and accuse Percy Weasley of catering to the Minister and never fighting the Death Eaters after they took over, while he spent the last year doing spywork and cover resistance. Go ahead, and expect one hell of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech...
  • Brainy Brunette: The dark-haired Sarah is certainly the brains of Harry's Slytherin quartet.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blaise (or Harry), Ron and Theodore for the boys, Sarah, Ginny and Luna for the girls.
  • Brick Joke: At one point, Snape tells Pettigrew, who has already lost a finger and a hand, that his service to Voldemort is going to cost him an arm. Cue the battle of Hogwarts in Year 7, where Pettigrew loses an arm while fighting McGonagall.
  • Butt-Monkey: Harry and his team tend to consider Ron Weasley as this during their first three years in Hogwarts, before they reach an agreement. Malfoy and his cronies serve as this as well.
  • Canon Foreigner: There are several OCs in the serie, the most frequently seen being Pierre Telensk, the co-headmaster of Durmstrang, Sarah Cobbyte, one of Harry's fellow Slytherins and a Muggle-born, Maximilian Expea, the first Muggle in centuries who manages to learn magic rather than be born with it, and Lucy Zabini, Blaise's younger sister.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In Book 1, Theodore says that the Ministry must control dragon-sighting very closely, since it would endanger the secrecy of the wizarding world. In Book 7, the old dragon guarding Gringotts is set free over London, seen by hundreds of people, and the Status of Secrecy is officially broken.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During a defense lesson, Harry is tripped and disarmed by a silent Petrificus Totalus. Some weeks later, he uses the same on Amycus Carrow, sending him crashing down the stairs.
  • The Chessmaster: Dumbledore acts as one, and Telensk plays roughly the same part for Durmstrang.
  • Children Are Innocent: Deconstructed almost at every turn of the story, specially with Sarah and Blaise, who act sometimes as if they could give Esther a run for her money.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Salazar Slytherin openly oggles women and last-year female students in Hogwarts, but unless they are Umbridge or Rita Skeeter, will never utter a disrespectful word against them, and is always prompt to answer when a woman asks for his help.
  • Cluster Fbomb: Salazar Slytherin has a rather foul mouth, particularly when Rita Skeeter and Dolores Umbridge are concerned. He also has some choice words for Tom Riddle Jr, and tends to swear a lot when Harry is not acting fast enough.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Yes, they will use hexes and curses first, but expect Harry and his team to punch, kick and use a Groin Attack if it can give them the upper hand.
  • The Consigliere: Salazar acts as a confidante, a teacher and a benevolent councillor for the Slytherin Quartet, and often gives them useful tips, particularly when they have to handle Umbridge.
  • Cool Old Guy: Maximilian Expea is seventy when he joins Hogwarts and becomes an immediate favourite of the other students thanks to his easy-going personality and the wonderful stories he tells.
    • Salazar Slytherin is not too bad either, despite his foul mouth and prejudices, and always has some useful advice to provide to his fellow snakes.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: in Book 7, two dragons are unleashed in Gringotts... how do you think it is going to end for the goblins?
  • Daddy's Girl: Sarah Cobbyte is not exactly a spoilt child, but it's obvious her father dotes on her by the way he teaches her all the family tricks to earn or steal more money, and trains her using the Dursleys as a practice target for illegal business.
  • Death by Adaptation: Remus' death happens much sooner than in the original books. Other characters who do not survive this series are Lucius and Drago Malfoy, Pius Thicknesse, Mundungus Fletcher and Dolores Umbridge.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Snape is killed by Voldemort in front of all the students and members of the Order, after taunting his "master" one last time.
  • Due to the Dead: After Lupin is killed in book 5, Snape, Moody, Percy and Harry organize a discreet wake in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place, recalling some funny memories of him... and getting drunk in the process.
    • Snape also gets a burial to remember, with all the Slytherin students, part of the other houses and the staff of both Beauxbâtons and Durmstrand attending.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first tomes have some differences in characterization, and more nonsense passages, which disappear as the story progresses.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: YMMV on Telensk being truly evil (from Sarah's point of view, he certainly is), but he does have a lovely baritone voice (he's modeled on Benedict Cumberbatch, after all).
  • Flaw Exploitation: Harry's group constantly uses Umbridge's disregard and contempt for Muggle-born wizards to manipulate her, like Sarah asking for a room for her study group (aka the Hogwarts Army).
  • For Want of a Nail: The pitch of the whole story is: what if Harry had not met Draco Malfoy in Diagon Alley? (well, before more original characters get added each tome)
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Blaise is choleric (prone to violent outbursts and has a short temper), Sarah sanguine (she is the RP specialist of the group), Theo melancholic (the least talkative and most introvert), Harry phlegmatic (more prone to discretion than Blaise or Sarah and a schemer).
  • Good Is Not Nice: Almost all the main characters, particularly Blaise, Sarah, Snape and Telensk. Harry also has his moments, specially when he kills Amycus Carrow in cold blood during the first attack on Hogwarts.
  • *Go Out with a Smile: Snape, "who had never smiled much during his life, had died with a smile on his lips."
  • Hot Teacher: Amda Sinistra is considered as such by many male students and a few females as well.
    • Millicent Bulstrode used to have a big crush on Remus Lupin.
    • Durmstrang's headmistress Theodora Sakhouline also has a large fan-club amongst her students.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Sarah assumes the role of the high-studying student for Slytherin (in fact, she starts off rather Sueish, until it's reined in as the series grows the beard), first as a counterpart to Hermione, before they become friendlier as the story progresses. By the fifth book they're teaching...
  • Insistent Terminology: Sarah always uses "born of Muggles" rather than "Muggleborn", since the second expression seems to imply that this category of magic-users were born as muggles before suddenly becoming wizards/witches (i.e. Max, and that took him a lifetime). She is even more insistent after Umbridge's stay in Hogwards.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Harry and Telensk the oriental dragon develop a close friendship along the years, even after Harry leaves school.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Blaise Zabini, Sarah Cobbyte, Pierre Telensk and Salazar Slytherin all act like selfish, rude bastards who are not above manipulating others for their personal gain, but whenever someone they consider a friend is in trouble or in pain, they rush to help.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Each time Harry reads a newspaper or listens to a conversation that does not concern him, he mentally adds a lot of sarcastic comments that are, of course, lost for the characters in-universe, but available for the reader.
  • The Lost Lenore: While he was alive the first time around Salazar was deeply in love with Rowena Ravenclaw (apparently a mutual thing or he is an Unreliable Narrator). Then she died of old age, while Salazar remained stuck between the living world and the after-life, forever missing his beloved partner. When Harry meets Salazar in 1994, he is still carrying a torch for Rowena.
  • Male Gaze: Salazar is often caught checking out the lovely ladies of Hogwarts. Once the team is forced to make him travel in Ginny's trunk (He is stuck in a portrait, It Makes Sense in Context) and he is sorely disappointed by the lack of lace or satin in her underwear.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Harry and Co tend to consider Dumbledore this way, but Harry himself starts to show shades of this behaviour when dealing with Slughorn.
  • Meaningful Name: Sarah's full name is Sarah Salmissra Cobbyte. Nothing to run away very fast, but it's no surprise she joined Slytherin, even though she's muggle-born. One of her ancestors was named Petrolith Cobra; he was petrified by a Gorgon...
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sarah plays the naive, humbled and muggle-born kid when she asks Umbridge to allow the creation of a study group in Hogwarts; said group is used as a cover for Hogwarts Army.
  • Odd Friendship: Snape and Lupin's relationship seems to evolve into this between books 3 and 5. They still snark at each other, but it is less vicious than before. Then, after learning that Lupin was killed during the raid in the Ministry of Magic, Snape is clearly shocked and cannot even stand straight; he also goes to Remus' funeral along with his students.
  • Oh, Crap!: There are many, but the moment when Sarah realises that Telensk is not human, but a dragon with a millenium-long grudge against her familly certainly takes the cake.
  • Only Sane Man: Theodore, particularly compared to Sarah and Blaise.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Snape and Moody being civil to each other? Yeah, it can happen... when they are both trying to drink themselves under the table during Lupin's wake
    • Percy punching Fudge out of rage at having been misled at the end of book five deserves mention. The narration even lampshades it...
    "Such an action was so opposite to the character that it took a moment for everyone present to register that Percy just slugged the minister with a right hook. Moody was openly snickering while Scrimgeour dryly commented:
    "Way to put both a resignation and a vote of no confidence in a single move."
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Some of them are sentient and can shape-shift into human beings - and enjoy doing so.
  • Parental Substitute: Once he gets past his prejudices and misconceptions about Harry, Snape is shown to genuinely care for the boy, and spends a lot of time giving him advice or a bit of understanding. On the other hand, Harry trusts him and shows him far more respect than in the original version.
  • Race Lift: As the first tomes were put online before Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Blaise Zabini is not black, but has Italian origins, whereas Sinistra is a black woman from South Africa.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Apart from Neville, whose situation is the same as in canon, we also have Theodore Nott, who is partially raised by his maternal uncles.
  • Reality Ensues: When Scrimgeour understands in Book 6 that both Kingsley and Tonks are also reporting to Dumbledore, he does not fire them but makes them work for free, because nothing is exactly what they are worth to him.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Telensk looks very handsome and no more than forty, but he's still a thousand-year-old dragon.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Snape delivers one to Dumbledore, and Sarah to Moody, in the sixth opus, regarding the fact that both men have trouble admitting that everything does not work according to plan.
    • Scrimgeour also delivers one to Tonks and Kingsley at the end of book 6, reminding them that they swore an oath to him as aurors, and that he does not like seeing his subordinates withhold crucial intelligence from him. As a punishment, he decides to pay them exactly what they're worth to him, i.e. nothing (in a Shout-Out to a first-season episode of Lie to Me).
    • Kingsley receives another one from Percy who, unlike the Order, remained in the Ministry during the whole war spying and playing Oskar Schindler for Muggle-born witches and wizards.
    Percy: What do you want?! Tell me that I came at the last time?! That I took my sweet time to choose?! Tell me, asshole, is it you who paid, every month, the debts my father accumulated at Gringotts after he was fired?! Is it you who hexed the twins' shop so that no Death Eater or their toadies could get in while they took back their surplus?! Is it you who gave datas to Snape, fearing to get caught every second?! Is it you who destroyed the Muggle-born files to save them from being arrested?! Is it you who had to clean up behind Voldemort after Scrimgeour got slaughtered?! By the way, where were you then?! Hidden at Black's?! YOU WERE A MINISTRY AGENT, UNDER THE ORDERS OF THE MINISTER!! HE WAS THE ONE WHO TRAINED YOU, WHO MADE YOU TAKE YOUR OATH AS AN AUROR!! YOU'RE A LIAR, A PERJURY AND A COWARD !! AND YOU DARE TRY AND ACCUSE ME?!
  • Red Shirt: For Christmas of 1996, Snape receives one as a gift. He is not amused.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Played straight at first with the trope namer, who hates Slytherin and everyone associated by principle, and despises Harry and his friends for winning the Quidditch and House Cups. But downplayed in Book 3 and 4, in which they reach an uneasy truce, and subverted by Book 5. Ron becomes a trusted friend and a valuable part of the gang, with a personality close to canon, if more assertive, and a few Awesome Moments of badmouthing Umbridge to her face.
    • Downplayed with Dumbledore. He clearly dislikes the fact that Harry is a Slytherin, and the group trust him only as far as they can throw him due to him being The Chessmaster, keeping secrets and believing to know better. However, they are not in conflict and he is firmly on the side of good.
    "You could say whatever you wanted about Dumbledore, but pity the poor fool who would endanger his school and students."
  • Running Gag: Theo always have trouble with his food (particularly eggs and jam); also Sarah and her omnipresent sunglasses.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Sarah and her father are extremely fond of this trope. They need the glasses because of a genetic defect that makes them very sensitive to sunlight, but the initimidating effect is also taken into account.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Salazar is the king of this trope (he cannot open his mouth without swearing and is not know to sugarcoat his opinions), with Telensk as a close second (when he's not acting as deputy headmaster of Durmstrang, he doesn't give a damn about propriety or personal space). Dumbledore too, to a certain extent, when he invites himself to the Dursleys' before sixth year.
    • Averted with Maximilian Expea, who is a very polite, a bit old-fashionned and charming old man... except if you are an Auror trying to arrest him. Then he'll just kick your a** into Kingdom Come.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of the book 6, the entire Slytherin House leaves Hogwarts, realizing that with Dumbledore's death at the hands of Draco Malfoy, all hope of repairing their reputation is now destroyed.
    Blaise: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff can afford every infraction and just get a slap on the wrist. We of Slytherin must endure contempt for all because of a few black sheeps. We fought alongside other students, at least the ones brave enough to do their duty, and yet, you bastards in red, blue and yellow yell for us being all fired because some junior deatheaters come from the green. Three of them were actually Ravenclaws, and yet no one demands payback on their house. But I'm not surprised. Our "kind little pals" wanted to throw us out since 1000 years. Well, guess what, assholes? You won. Ladies and gentlemen, the House of Slytherin takes its leave.
  • Screw You, Elves!!: Used against the magical society (at least, the british one) by Telensk (since he's a dragon, he may be a bit hypocritical there), Harry Potter and Sarah Cobbyte, the three pointing it as stagnant, racist and corrupted.
    Sarah: I don't intend to waste my time and energy for the magical society. At least the british one. A justice worthy of a banana republic, corrupted civil servants (if at least it was in MY favor...), institutionalized racsim and specism, the fact that Muggles are treated as inferiors and leeches, even though it's the wizards who leech on the muggles... [...] [The wizards] "borrowed" the printing press, phonograph, car, gas lighting and tons of other stuff to their neighbors, and what did the muggles get in exchange? Nothing, except the right to get the brain erased and manipulated every time they have the bad luck of seeing womeone waving a wand. They also have to suffer the consequences of wizard wars without having a single idea of what is happening. In addition to all this, I'm not going to support a system who treats women like it does, who doesn't let a married woman have a job unless she's a widow and her kids are old enough to fend for themselves, or at least go to school. Social services? Zero! And don't get me started on your so-called medicine! I've wasted enough of my time with you all.
  • Shipper on Deck: Millicent Bulstrode totally supports Theodore's carrying a torch for Luna, and Harry also finds them very cute together.
  • Shout-Out: Too many to count, but the most obvious are to Terry Pratchett, Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Les Tontons flingeurs.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Parseltongue seems to work with dragons as well, as Harry discovers during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Unlike snakes, though, dragons do not accentuate the sibilants, perhaps because of their mixed/magical nature.
  • Soul Jar: When Gryffindor killed him, Salazar's soul did not leave for the after-life, but was instead trapped in one of his portraits, a small woodden statue, which remained the only one not destroyed afterwards. Breaking the statue would release Salazar's soul, either to go on with his journey to the afterlife, or to be reincarnated.
  • Taking You with Me: How Scrimgeour deals with Bellatrix Lestrange and Yaxley; adding insult to injury, he does it the Muggle way, by rigging his office with explosives.
  • True Companions: They may not like each other well, they can even get at each other's throat from time to time (what with belonging to the four Houses of the school), but the members of Hogwarts Army protect their own no matter the cost.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Harry and the Silver Company (Salazar and Snape included) are always ready to help each other when needed, but given the amount of snark that flies between them, you would be hard-pressed to tell it at first glance.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Harry becomes good enough at Transfiguration to transform himself, though only polyjuice potion can remove his scar.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Harry has this kind of reaction to Snape, since they have a truly trusting relationship and Harry considers his teacher as a sort of surrogate father.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sometimes, but the biggest one is Harry and Blaise's reaction to Sarah's With Great Power Comes Great Insanity moment.
    Harry: I don't know if you realize what mess you put us in! We're having trouble convincing three quarters of this school that we're not monsters, and two Slytherins exchange present or future Unforgivables! You almost killed Malfoy! Okay, he's an enemy, and part of our House - I don't dare to imagine if it had been a Gryffindor - but months of work to repair our reputation are now screwed!
    [...]
    Blaise: If you want to become like them...
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In book 6, Sarah starts to head this way after she used the Sectumsempra on Draco, knowing full well what it would do.


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