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Fanfic / Knowledge is Power

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Knowledge is Power by robst follows the story of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger (but mostly the former) as they get sent back in time by the ghosts of Harry’s parents when the ceiling of the Ministry of Magic falls on them at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Although it was undergoing a rewrite with the new version being called Taking the P I S S, the incomplete re-write has been deleted. A second rewrite, Proud Parents was started in 2018, a “re-imagining” according to the author. It starts at the same moment, but instead of time travel the ghosts of James and Lily appear to Harry and Hermione after the Dementor attack accidentally destroys the Horcrux in Harry’s head early.


Knowledge Is Power contains examples of:

  • Adoption Diss: Bellatrix Lestrange tries this when she kidnaps Joan, with no success.
  • Argentina Is Nazi-Land: The Death Eaters go into exile in Argentina, in possibly one of the strangest invocations of this trope ever.
  • Badass Normal: of all people, Hermione’s parents. They may be Muggles, but they’re deadly with firearms.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Voldemort gets turned into a squirrel, thanks to Lord Potter substituting a squirrel bone in the resurrection spell.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Many words are spent on how ugly the antagonists are (as well as how beautiful the male leads’ wives and girlfriends are). Notably, Millicent’s shift from rapist to love interest (in a “Humour/Romance” fic!) is accompanied by her working out and losing weight.
  • Blackmail: Apparently, this is how the young Tom Riddle got Slughorn to teach him Dark magic: he’d caught him molesting a second-year boy. Yes, in a “Humour/Romance” fic.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    • The Weasleys and Dumbledore, whose motivations are shallow at best and completely unexplored at worst.
    • Voldemort and the Death Eaters take this to a ludicrous extreme by actually Scoring Points based on how many captives they torture, although that may have been a metaphor.
  • Chickification:
    • Hermione in particular doesn’t do a great deal in the fic. Hell, her own mother is actually a bigger Action Girl than she is, despite having crippling emotional problems and still being poorly written.
    • Luna, too, gets very little dialogue and even less action, to the extent that one reviewer suggested she could be replaced with a desk lamp (a reference to this article on female characters in comics) and none of the readers would have noticed.
  • Covers Always Lie: The header says “Humour/Romance”, but there isn’t much of either.
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  • Deus ex Machina: There isn’t really any other way to describe Harry and Hermione being sent into the past by the ghosts of James and Lily after a ceiling falls on them.
  • Exposition Intuition:
    • Harry and Hermione seem to know what Horcruxes are despite having gone back in time before the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In fact James and Lily explain it to them in the afterlife, but one could blink and miss it.
    • Also having gone back in time before HBP, Harry shouldn't know who Slughorn is nor his significance to Voldemort’s backstory. This is explained as him having access to Voldemort’s memories, which isn’t mentioned until that point.
  • Fat Bastard: Every overweight character (see Beauty Equals Goodness) but especially Slughorn and pre-redemption Millicent.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Harry starts a new wizarding school and calls it the “Potter Institute for Sorcery and Spells.
  • Gold Digger: The Weasleys here are only interested in Harry so they can get their hands on his Gringotts vault, despite being far too proud to take his money in canon even when he offers it freely.
  • Gorn: As in In This World and the Next, some of the death scenes fall into this, notably Gregory Goyle, Senior.
  • Gratuitous Rape: Apparently, it’s standard practice for Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Of course it is.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Absolutely everyone in the story flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. The only real difference between the heroes and the villains is that the former get away with it and the latter just shoot themselves in the foot by doing it.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Dumbledore and the Weasleys.
  • Love Potion: The Weasleys had a plot, which was apparently two years in the making, to dose Harry and Hermione with these so that they would fall for Ginny and Ron.
  • Magnetic Hero: Harry, even more than he is in canon: even when he’s going into rages that make CAPSLOCK!Harry from Order of the Phoenix look calm, and effing and blinding at everyone in sight, everyone not a Designated Villain thinks he’s wonderful and they all fall over themselves to join him.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dumbledore is even more manipulative here than he is in canon, but less effective. Lord Potter is effective at manipulation, but often prefers just to shout and swear at everyone until they back down.
  • Men Act, Women Are: Most of the plot of the fic seems to be driven by the male characters, with even Hermione being relegated to a supporting role even though she’s named in the header.
  • Muggles Do It Better: A running theme throughout the fic is how wizards underestimate Muggles, culminating in Mrs Granger shooting Mrs Weasley, which Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Mythology Gag: As is customary for the author, Mr and Mrs Granger are called Dan and Emma.
  • Obligatory Swearing: There’s a lot more of it than in the books, even allowing for J. K. Rowling’s famed Narrative Profanity Filter.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Every antagonist in the fic is a pure-blood supremacist, regardless of how little sense it makes based on their canonical portrayal.
  • Peggy Sue: Lily and James send Harry and Hermione back in time after they get killed in the Department of Mysteries. Nothing about Potterverse magic, ghosts or the afterlife suggests that this is at all possible.
  • Perfect Solution Fallacy: As far as this fic is concerned, the fact that Dumbledore’s plan to defeat Voldemort has some flaws makes him as evil as Voldemort himself. This is a hallmark of robst’s writing.
  • Protagonist-Centred Morality: Very much so.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: Ron gets this at the hands of Millicent, with whom he subsequently falls in love. “Humour/Romance” indeed.
  • Revenge Fic: Against Dumbledore and the Weasleys, of course, neither of whom do anything to deserve it in canon.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: This is literally how the author kills off the cast in the original timeline, except with a ceiling instead of rocks.
  • Romantic Comedy: Theoretically. See Covers Always Lie.
  • Scoring Points: The Death Eaters apparently have “Death Eater points” earned from torturing people for the Dark Lord’s amusement. What form these take is never made clear.
  • Self-Parody: The “Humour” promised by the header is mostly of this kind, and doesn’t always seem to be intentional.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Averted.
  • Start My Own: What Harry decides to do when he’s finally had enough of Hogwarts.
  • Toilet Humour: A fair bit, but the name of Harry’s new wizarding school is the most egregious example, even inspiring the name of the first abortive rewrite.
  • Updated Re-release: Currently in progress: the extent of the update is debatable, especially as many spelling, punctuation and grammar errors have survived uncorrected, but it does make the confusing beginning a little less so.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: There are a lot of comma splices. As one reviewer put it: “I think someone once told [the author] not to write ten sentences where one would suffice and he misinterpreted it.”