A 'Harry Potter' fan fiction that imagines Harry died in the wizarding war has taken over the book community

  • Book fans are obsessed with the "Harry Potter" fan fiction "Manacled" by SenLinYu.

  • In the work, Harry Potter is dead, and Hermione is being used as a surrogate for magic offspring.

  • This article contains some spoilers for "Manacled."

As one of the most beloved fantasy worlds of all time, it's no surprise J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series has inspired countless fan-fiction works over the years.

Some of these works feature love stories between characters who were never together in Rowling's books, others imagine alternate realities where characters like Fred Weasley never died, and some imagine what the first wizarding war was like for Lily and James Potter.

One of the most beloved "Harry Potter" fanfics is "Manacled" by SenLinYu, a dark romance between Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger.

As SenLinYu said in an author's note, the story was inspired by the pilot of "The Handmaid's Tale" TV show, so much of the plot pays homage to Margaret Atwood's world in addition to Rowling's.

"Manacled" was initially published on the fan-fiction website Archive of Our Own (Ao3) over the course of 2018 and 2019, though it's recently gained renewed reader interest in part due to TikTok.

The rest of this article contains some spoilers for "Manacled."

In 'Manacled,' the Order of the Phoenix lost the war against Voldemort

The events of "Manacled" diverge from those of Rowling's original series after "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

In SenLinYu's work, Harry Potter is dead, and the Order has lost the war against Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

Hermione has survived, although nearly everyone she ever loved is dead. At the beginning of "Manacled," she has been imprisoned in a dark, soundless cell for sixteen months by Dolores Umbridge and forced to wear handcuffs that make her unable to use her magic.

Once she is removed from solitary confinement, Hermione has to become a surrogate for a wizard to fill the shortage of magical children created by the war, similar to the need for repopulation in "The Handmaid's Tale."

emma watson hermione granger deathly hallows
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger.Warner Bros.

Hermione is given to Draco Malfoy as a surrogate, though he is married to a dark witch. Draco has risen up in the ranks of Voldemort's followers in SenLinYu's world, becoming his right-hand man, known as the High Reeve. As SenLinYu said in an author's note, the title "High Reeve" was taken from lady_of_clunn's "Harry Potter" fan fiction "Uncoffined."

Before she is given to Draco, a healer also reveals to Hermione that there are magical gaps in her memory that she appears to have created during her time in isolation, helping her guard a secret. Although she made the blocks to protect her memories, Hermione is unable to take them down, and at the start of the fan fiction, she cannot even remember her parents' names.

As Hermione tries to piece her memories back together, she must face painful memories of the downfall of the Order, and she will learn Draco meant more to her than she could have ever imagined.

SenLinYu is hardly the first fanfic author to imagine a love story between Draco and Hermione; their childhood animosity is nearly a blueprint for an enemies-to-lovers romance. But the author places their forbidden feelings against the backdrop of a world torn apart by war, raising the stakes.

Readers should know that "Manacled" is much darker than Rowling's original works before diving into it. It includes scenes that depict rape, torture, and other forms of violence, as SenLinYu says in a content warning, so readers should not expect the same experience they had with the original "Harry Potter" books if they decide to read "Manacled."

You can read 'Manacled' for free

"Manacled" is massively popular as far as fan fiction goes. According to Ao3, the story has 4.8 million hits and counting on the website as of Monday, and over 35,000 people have rated it on Goodreads, with the average rating sitting at 4.68 out of 5 stars.

Several TikTok reviews of "Manacled" have put even more attention on the work, with many BookTokers raving about it. For instance, TikToker @claudiatalksfilm shared a video of herself crying over the fan fiction, which she called "utterly incredible," and it has over 1.7 million views to date.

There are several ways to read "Manacled" online, according to SenLinYu's website, though the quickest way to access it is on Ao3, where it originally gained its massive following.

The Ao3 page for the work also contains graphics by Avendell, which you can see on the user's Instagram page.

"Manacled" can be downloaded to e-readers through the Ao3 website, which many readers may prefer because the story is massive. According to Ao3, it has 77 chapters and 370,515 words, which is nearly double the length of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

You can also read "Manacled on fanfiction.net and inkitt, and the story is available as an audiobook. Chapters one through 56 can be accessed on Spotify, while 57 through 77 are on YouTube.

SenLinYu did not respond to a request for comment.

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