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Fanfic / Like a Red-Headed Stepchild

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Like a Red Headed Stepchild is a Harry Potter fanfiction by mugglesftw.

The brainchild of an image macro that circulated the Reddit Harry Potter Fanfiction board, the story posses the very important question of what would happen if Harry was born with red hair instead of black? The answer? Hilarity Ensues. Quite a few reddit memes and suggestions have made their way into the story, from the basilisk speaking in snek tongue to someone realizing he's surrounded by Weasleys. The story toes the line between humor and an out and out Crack Fic, though a strong narrative of family being important and Harry overcoming challenges through the aid of the Weasley clan.


Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Voldemort towards Sirius, much to the latter's horror and Snape, Lupin, and Tonks' amusement.
  • Action Girl: Every girl who gets drawn into the Weasley clan ends up being a part of their Badass Family, especially Hermione who ends being much more adventurous and willing to bend the rules than in canon. In fact, due to some rather poor journalistic practices and a series of unlikely events, it's looking as though Voldemort has decided that Hermione is his real archnemesis instead of Harry, which of course only forces Hermione into more and more heroic situations.
  • Badass Family: The Weasleys (honorary and otherwise) are seen as The Dreaded by the entire school due to their extreme loyalty for one another and the serious harm they can inflict on even the most dangerous enemies that ever dare hurt a member of their brood.
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  • Becoming the Mask: Discussed for laughs after Sirius, acting as Voldemort's spy for Dumbledore, manages to break out all of the Death Eaters from Azkaban (he only wanted to free Bellatrix at first) to get out of a Christmas date with Voldemort.
    Dumbledore: "I am unsure whether I should be impressed that you have single handedly managed to orchestrate and pull off what has to be the most monumentally successful prank of all time all because you find the thought of dating Voldemort horrifying, or be terrified that you may have actually gone over to the other side and have really become the world's most successful and dangerous Death Eater."
  • Book and Switch: Percy hides a wedding planner behind a copy of the morning paper.
  • Broken Bird: Luna Lovegood thanks to the death of her mother and the fact that it is she, not Ginny, who ends up with the Diary in year 2.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: When it's suggested that Voldemort's resurrection ritual was deliberately sabotaged, Snape denies the possibility on the grounds that "only a skillful and masterful potions master could ever manage such a thing". Dumbledore immediately tells him to quit bragging.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Before meeting the family, Harry is called a Weasley by Draco and wonders if it's an insult.
  • Cargo Ship: In-Universe; Fred is pretty sure that Olliver wants to marry the Quidditch Cup and projects this desire onto whatever team mate manages to win the game. Olliver admits that he does, but was told it "wasn't strictly legal".
  • Crashing Dreams: Harry dreams that he's kissing Luna and wakes to find Sirius in dog form licking his face.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: None other than Gilderoy Lockhart becomes one, thanks to some Mind Rape that makes him believe he's evil. Unfortunately for Voldemort, Lockhart thinks that dressing in black and an Evil Laugh is what constitutes evil. In fact, the mind control was botched in such a way that he develops the superhuman talents he claimed to have in his books and begins a highly successful career as a professional monster hunter. And no-one ever discovers he was ever a fraud.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Draco has just enough time to realize he was taunting Hermione "I-Beat-Lockhart-In-A-Duel" Granger-Weasley before she breaks his nose and starts kicking him while he's down on the ground.
  • The Dreaded: By third year, Hermione and, to a lesser extent, the Weasley children in general are feared by the rest of the student body. Lupin has trouble finding someone in his third year class who both isn't a Weasley and isn't terrified of them in some way, to test a boggart.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite being the straight-laced prefect, Percy thinks History of Magic is so boring that he won't blame his siblings (or Harry) for dosing off during it, and is completely willing to let them borrow his old notes for the class.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Fred and George promise to not use their new wands to prank their family members, they start planning wandless pranks instead.
    • Part of why Voldemort is convinced Hermione is his real nemesis is because she was born at the end of the seventh month of the Chinese calendar.
  • Faking the Dead: Fred is struck down during the Chess Match in year 1, and pretends to be dead. Percy however, is not fooled.
  • Family of Choice: Besides Harry and the Weasleys, Hermione considers the Weasleys her adoptive family and Luna treats them as a second family.
  • Fiery Redhead:
    • Ginny Weasley's temper and passion are on display much earlier, as she has no romantic attraction to Harry once he becomes a Weasley in all but name.
    • Despite not being a natural redhead, after Hermione's hair is turned red, many refer to her as the scariest of the Weasleys.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Basilisk's name turns out to be Supreme Danger Noodle. It is unclear whether someone gave her this name, or she chose it herself.
  • Gaslighting: The Weasley children use a more benign form to make their mother think Harry is her son. By the summer after first year, she doesn't find anything odd about there being six children at the table even when Arthur points out there should be five.
  • Happily Adopted: While not official (until third year), Harry's quite happy to be a Weasley as he's always wanted a family.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Voldemort's resurrection essentially turns him into Yzma. It's suggested to be a result either of using Hermione's blood instead of Harry's, or Snape having secretly sabotaged the ritual.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The ever-increasing amount of Weasleys causes McGonagall to go through a lot of calming draughts (and occasionally, some actual alcohol). Snape also joins her for a drink when he's forced to partner up with Sirius while spying on Voldemort and his followers.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Snape gives Harry and Ron detention for enchanting snowballs to pelt Draco, Harry admits they were bullying the other boy.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Not only does Hermione metaphorically lean on the fourth wall by mentioning the idea of convenient time travel magic that'd promptly be forgotten after that year, she also physically leans on the room's fourth wall as she does so.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Gilderoy Lockhart, naturally. Subverted Trope in fact. Due to Voldequirrel's Mind Rape of the hapless fraud, Gilderoy is Brainwashed and Crazy, believing that his books are all true accounts, and that he is a very capable and powerful magician. As it turns out, Clap Your Hands If You Believe is in effect and Gilderoy does indeed become a capable and powerful Hunter of Monsters.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Dudley's and Dobby's friendship gets mistaken for romance by Harry and Ron.
  • Mistaken Identity: Thanks to the fact that Harry and Ron look rather similar from a distance, McGonagall believes that it was Ron, not Harry, who caught Neville's Remembrall and makes Ron the youngest Seeker in a century. Harry finds the entire situation hilarious, especially since he and Ron swap places on the team several times with the majority of the school none the wiser.
    • Later, Dobby arrives at the Dursley's residence and assumes that Dudley is the Chosen One.
  • Mooning: Sirius does it to the Dementors that try to attack the Weasleys and Penelope during a Quidditch match.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Fred and George solve the potions puzzle blocking the way to the Philosopher's Stone by pulling out a couple of Muggle fire extinguishers they were saving for a prank and dousing the alchemical fire with foam.
  • Mythology Gag: Hermione still forms S.P.E.W. but this time it stands for "Stop our Professor's Evil Ways" and is formed to prove Lockhart is evil.
  • Name McAdjective: Harry refers to the brainwashed Lockhart as "Evil McEvilstein."
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Hermione gets one in the form of the Girl-Who-Hunts-Monsters.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Draco insulting Harry and Luna about their reactions to dementors results in Harry, Ron, and Hermione beating him, Crabbe, and Goyle to the ground then repeatedly kicking them. Hagrid has to physically pull them off the Slytherins to make them stop.
  • Obviously Evil: Lockhart after being mind-raped into thinking he's evil. Subverted in that he's not evil at all.
  • Only Sane Man: Percy tries very hard to keep his siblings in line, at least most of the time. Of course, he does turn out to be Not So Above It All on more than one occasion, especially when Harry is threatened.
    "As Head Boy, I absolutely refuse to be party to any plans that could very well result in you lot blowing up the entire castle."
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Apparently most wizards can't recognize someone if they wear Groucho Marx glasses.
  • Pet the Dog: Snape is considerably less antagonistic towards Harry due to not only the boy looking more like his mother, but also because Harry doesn't really care about his father. After their first class, he tells Harry several stories about Lily, though he always paints James as a horrible bully (to be fair, James was something of a bully in canon).
  • Produce Pelting: When Hermione tells the Triwizard Tournament spectators that Voldemort has returned and Lockhart tries to back her up, the crowd throws conjured rotten food and half-eaten chips at them.
  • Punny Names: Saffron Scrivener is a yellow journalist for the Daily Prophet.
  • Running Gag:
    • Harry being mistaken for a Weasley naturally. Even the Sorting Hat mistakes him for one.
    • Someone with red hair claiming to be a Weasley and pretending their real name is someone else. Usually Harry remarking that he's heard Harry Potter is "a real arse, running around with that scar of his". Even other students get confused and wonder why Harry and Hermione Weasley are being referred to as Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.
      • Likewise, someone with red hair is thought to be a Weasley by others. Susan Bones starts dying her hair blonde in second year to get away from the jokes about her belonging in Gryffindor.
    • Gryffindor is at times referred to as the Weasley House due to the entire family being sorted there, honorary or not.
  • Ship Tease: After the events of second year, Luna sometimes ponders changing her last name to Potter (or Weasley since Harry's so insistent he is one).
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The gnomes of course. Harry undergoes a Weasley initiation where he must teach the garden gnomes a new swear word.
  • Sneeze Cut:
    "You know, every time I start feeling guilty about hexing those Muggles' shrubberies you remind me just why we did it," Mr. Weasley observed. "I can't imagine who thought it was a good idea to leave you with them."
    At Hogwarts, Dumbledore sneezed loudly. Professor McGonagall had to keep herself from saying "I told you so" but was not sure why.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Weasleys accidentally ruin Lockhart's plan to quickly and easily slay the Basilisk.
  • Take That!: During third year, Hermione and Percy mock both the idea of Time Turners and how they negate basically every problem.
    Hermione: If only there were some convenient method of time travel that would only be relevant to the plot for one year and then we could promptly forget about it, despite time travel being an easy solution to all our problem.
    Percy: That would completely violate any narrative flow and the laws of causality though. Plus, time travel stories always give me a headache.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lockhart, by way of Mind Rape, becomes the skilled Hunter of Monsters he's always claimed to be.
  • Tranquil Fury: Mr. Weasley doesn't take well to realizing how poorly the Dursley mistreat Harry. Besides a moment of shouting, he stays completely calm even as he tells the twins to let gnomes loose in the Dursley garden.
  • Wham Line: Halloween Year 2:
    And that was the problem. No one cared.
  • Whole Plot Reference: ... Well, "plot" isn't quite the correct word, but the second half of chapter 30 is essentially just a game of Mario Kart. On dragons.