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Chapter 1 : Violence Tutorial
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The following contains examples of what type of violence (and under what rating) is acceptable for validation on this archive. Please note, violence is a very broad topic and it’s therefore impossible for us to provide examples for every possible scenario where a violence warning may be necessary. The examples below address violence in its most “basic” form. For violence associated with sexual assault, self-harm, suicide, child abuse, intimate violence/spousal abuse, or other sensitive topics, please refer to the other tutorials posted under the penname “Staff.”
If you have questions regarding your particular story, please contact the staff directly via the forums, email, or our trouble ticket system. Questions posted as reviews to this story will not be answered.
Violence at a 12+ Rating
As stated in the site rules, a story rated 12+ “contains little or no violence.” Any violence must be mild in nature and should be limited to mild fantasy or comedic violence.
Below is an example of a scene from a story that would be acceptable for validation at a 12+ rating with a warning for Mild Violence. This scene is meant to illustrate the highest level of violence that would be accepted in a 12+ rated story.
Albus Potter flew high above the stands. From his current vantage point, he had an unobstructed view of the entire pitch, not to mention all the people who had gathered to watch Gryffindor take on Slytherin in the first Quidditch game of the school year. Far below him, two of his teammates raced towards the Slytherin Keeper, continually passing the Quaffle back and forth as they weaved between their oncoming opponents. Seconds later, the crowd erupted as Gryffindor scored another goal.
That put Gryffindor in the lead seventy to forty. Now all Albus had to do was find the Snitch and his team would clinch their first victory of the season.
Albus was nearly knocked sideways off his broom as Corbis Stone, the Slytherin Seeker, smashed into him. Albus gripped his broom tightly, just managing to stay upright.
“Watch it!” Albus yelled, but it was too late. Stone had already sped off.
Albus considered chasing after him, thinking maybe his fellow Seeker had spotted the Snitch, but Stone was now circling the Slytherin stands, waving to the cheering crowd who clearly appreciated such a blatant foul. Albus looked over at the referee expectantly, but she was too busy breaking up the shouting match that had erupted between the two team captains to take any notice of Stone.
Albus was just about to resume his search for the Snitch when he heard a loud CRACK! An instant later, Stone was hunched over his broom, blood pouring from his nose. The crowd below him let out a collective gasp.
“That ought to teach him,” a triumphant voice called out from somewhere behind him.
Albus turned round to see his brother James holding up his wooden Beater’s bat – a wide, satisfied grin on his face.
“Who knows,” James continued, “Stone is such an idiot, a few Bludgers to the head might actually knock some sense into him.”
Albus laughed but before he had a chance to reply, his brother had raced off again, bat raised, prepared to strike another blow at any other Slytherin who dared to mess with his teammates...
Violence at a 15+ Rating
Violence in stories rated 15+ may be more intense and deliberate in nature but not so severe as to warrant a Mature rating. Stories rated 15+ can contain warnings for either Mild or Strong Violence.
Below is an example of a scene from a story that would be acceptable for validation at a 15+ rating with a warning for Strong Violence. This scene is meant to illustrate the highest level of violence that would be accepted in a 15+ rated story.
Gregory Goyle stood in the entryway to Greenhouse Three, his wide frame filling the narrow space and blocking out the last of the late afternoon sun that normally filtered in though the open door.
Neville, preoccupied with thoughts of the day’s lesson on harvesting Puffapods, looked up, surprised to find that he and his fellow third-year were alone in the greenhouse. Everyone, including Professor Sprout it seemed, had already packed up and headed back to the castle. It was nearly supper time and the Great Hall would be full of students shouting over one another, talking animatedly about tomorrow’s Quidditch matchup between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.
Neville jumped to his feet and began hastily shoving his books into his school bag.
“What’s the rush?” Goyle asked, flashing Neville a malicious smile. “Not worried about missing dinner are you? I’m sure one of your friends will save you a seat. Oh, that’s right,” he added, as if just realizing something. “You ain’t got any friends, have you, Neville?”
Neville did his best to ignore the boy, shoving the last of his notes into his bag before flinging it over one shoulder. He made his way toward the other door at the far end of the narrow room. He gave it a tug. Locked.
“Oops,” Goyle said. “Looks like there’s only one way out of here.”
Neville swallowed hard. He could feel the beginnings of a cold sweat break out across his forehead.
Goyle took a step forward, closing the distance between them while still managing to block Neville’s only means of escape.
“Shh---Shove off, Goyle,” Neville stammered, his voice barely above a whisper.
But Goyle just laughed.
“What’s that, Longbottom? You got something to say to me?”
Goyle took another step toward the now trembling boy.
“Leave me alone!” Neville shouted. Or at least he tried to shout it. His quivering voice was quickly swallowed up the thick foliage that hung from the ceilings and sprouted out from every corner of the greenhouse.
Goyle let out another malevolent laugh as he slowly pulled his wand out from inside the pocket of his trousers.
Without warning, Neville sprung forward, trying to rush his way past his tormentor. Goyle was big and dumb and slow to react. The smaller boy was faster and smarter and nearly managed to clear the doorway when he felt something tug him backwards. Goyle had just enough time to grab hold of fleeing boy’s bag as he sprinted past, ripping it in two and sending its contents and Neville crashing to the floor.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Goyle was now standing over Neville, a wicked grin on his face.
Without thinking, Neville kicked out his leg, catching Goyle square in the shin. The bigger boy let out a yelp of pain and surprise. But instead of scaring off the attacker, the blow only served to enrage him.
“Why you little...”
Goyle reached down and grabbed the front of Neville’s robes, yanking the boy up as if he weighed nothing at all. Neville was on his feet again, but before he had time to brace himself, a large beefy fist plowed straight into his gut. Once. Twice. Three times. Neville fell to his knees, but the attack continued. A quick blow to the side of the head and Neville saw stars and felt something warm trickle down across his temple.
“It’s time you learned some respect for your superiors,” Goyle spat, breathing heavily.
Neville saw him lift one heavy boot, the toe only inches from his face, and knew what was coming next.
Just then, Neville heard voices. Lots of them. Talking and laughing as they neared the greenhouses. From the sound of it, they were older students. Sixth-years maybe, on their way back from Hogsmeade. Neville let out a sigh of relief. Goyle might be stupid but he wasn’t a total idiot. Even he knew he’d be in huge trouble if he was caught beating the tar out of another student. And there’s no way he could take on a group of sixth-years all by himself.
Neville heard Goyle let out a grunt of disappointment.
“This isn’t over, Longbottom,” he said. “You got lucky...this time...”
Violence at a Mature Rating
Mature-rated stories are designed for mature audiences and may contain material that is unsuitable for persons under 17. Such stories may contain intense or pervasive violence. However, such violence should not go so far as to be considered gratuitous or graphic in nature. As a reminder, stories that reference certain violent acts such as rape, child/spousal abuse, or suicide must always be rated Mature with warnings for Strong Violence and Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme.
References to torture (such as the torture of the Longbottoms at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange) are acceptable at a 15+ or Mature rating. However, any stories containing depictions or descriptions of torture must be rated Mature with warnings for Strong Violence and Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme. There is often a thin line between torture and issues such as child abuse or slavery, and the topic is therefore heavily monitored. The final call on what is and isn’t acceptable regarding torture falls to the staff.
Below is an example of a scene from a story that would be acceptable for validation at a Mature rating with a warning for Strong Violence. This scene is meant to illustrate the highest level of violence that would be accepted in a Mature rated story.
Colin Creevey’s attacker was on him in a flash. The boy had barely cleared the stone archway that marked the entrance to the courtyard when he saw the first blaze of red light come speeding toward him. He lunged to the right, the spell missing him by inches. He felt the heat of the blast as it whizzed past his ear. A second later, the small tree behind him burst into flames.
Colin took off running. The smoke and dust was so thick he struggled to see past the end of his nose. He pushed forward blindly, sensing his pursuer close behind him. Colin stumbled as he went, tripping over rubble and debris. After making it no more than a few yards, Colin’s foot caught on something. It took him down fast. Instinctively, he put his arms out in front of him, bracing for impact. Instead of cushioning his fall, Colin heard a sickening crack as his entire body came crashing down on his own wrist, snapping it like a twig.
It was like being hit by lightning. The pain that shot up his arm took his already ragged breath away. Colin let out a strangled cry. He tried to roll over onto his back but found his foot was still entangled in whatever had tripped him. He kicked at it, feeling it move slightly. Something else shot through him then. Not pain. Understanding.
Colin’s foot had entwined itself in a pair of robes. Robes that were now torn and spattered with bright red blood. Robes that were hanging off the frame of a very dead body.
Colin started kicking again, more desperate than ever to break free. But the more he struggled, the more the corpse twisted and moved, as if reanimated in some science experiment gone terribly wrong. For one horrifying moment, Colin thought the body might have actually been an Inferius, but an instant later he managed to jerk his leg free and the body fell still.
Colin scrambled to his feet and took off running again, his now limp arm cradled against his chest. Fortunately it wasn’t his wand arm. The small wooden stick, his only protection, was still clutched in his left hand. He gave it a reassuring squeeze.
But Colin never had the chance to raise it. With the skill of a trained assassin, his attacker was on him again. Maybe he had lost his own wand in the chase. Or maybe he just liked a little more intimacy when it came to murder. Whatever the reason, Colin didn’t even have time to react as the two strong hands reached out and grabbed him by the neck. With one sickening twist, it was over...
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