Some people get “squicked” by the idea of Harry Potter slash (i.e. fan fiction that involves same-sex romantic episodes). I’m not. After you’ve sampled some fan fic, you realize that using well-known characters is just a handy shortcut for the writer to dispose with introductions and get on with other things (be that plot, humor, or sex). In grade school, I used to write tons of stories that involved my friends and classmates. No, nothing sexy, but just adventures and things. Instead of spending my time thinking up names and describing my characters, I could just say “Erin and Seth” and everybody knew exactly who I was talking about. Then I could get on with the plot and illustrations, which were my favorite part. That’s all fan fic writers are doing, and I wish the original artists wouldn’t get so upset. These writers aren’t debasing Harry Potter. If anything, they’re acknowledging the fact that the characters are more well-written than anything they could come up with themselves. If a couple people want to fantasize about Harry and Draco gettin’ it on in the Forbidden Forest (and they’re not making any money off it), who cares? Last I heard it wasn’t illegal to have an imagination. And besides, Harry Potter takes place at an English boarding school! Considering some of the stories Alex has told me about his formative education, I don’t think that slash stuff is far off the mark. (Link courtesy of Meg.)