I have been a Harry Potter fan since the age of five (although I admit my enthusiasm has waned lately). At the peak of the obsession, I hadn’t anticipated walking the streets of Lisbon in 2019 laughing out loud at detailed descriptions of various characters’ genitals. The Fangasm podcast has definitely rekindled my interest in J.K. Rowling’s creations, despite the fact that I now doubt my ability to appreciate a bog-standard Harry Potter.
We may wonder who has spare time and inclination in sufficient quantities to produce such farfetched erotic fan fiction, but I don’t think anyone who listens will wind up complaining. Fangasm has three American presenters each with a sense of humour and Harry Potter knowledge to bring to the table. Per series (there are eight covering each HP fanfic), a story is selected from the vast library that is the internet. It is then read aloud and reviewed; often ripped to shreds and put on a so-bad-it’s-almost-good pedestal in equal measure.
Admittedly, I still have five series of downloads awaiting my ears. But I can safely expect more of the same: sex, hexes, titillation and imagination. Of course, for us Brits, the proud compatriots of both J.K. and the majority of her characters, hearing Americans express confusion about the fact Harry has both ‘pants’ and ‘trousers’ is frustrating. But that, and their slightly lengthy pre-story chat, aside, it is sorting hats off to the presenters for punctuating the stories both pertinently and with an appropriate perplexion to which the listener will often relate. They, like me, were baffled to hear that, in Series One, Snape has ‘silken pubes’. Whose pubic hair is glossy, I mean….?
Forget the know-it-all Hermione overeager to answer every question in class, the Quidditch star and Chosen one Harry Potter, and the residential insecure rich kid Malfoy terrorising the school playground with his sidekicks. The outrageous and bawdy characters of Fangasm’s various plotlines seem only to be interesting in doing things that will make you cringe, laugh out loud in shock, and probably feel just a little uncomfortable.
The stories are almost charming, though, in the way they seamlessly re-incorporate the magical elements of the Harry Potter world in an entirely different context. Forget about the shifting staircases we all wish that we had in school and magic portaits guarding the dorms in Rowling’s book: there is conveniently a noise-cancelling spell to allow the students to do un-repeatable things in their closely-neighbouring dormitory rooms in peace.
But listening, it is easy to overlook the potential factual inaccuracy of the characters’ escapades and anatomy. No one goes to an erotic fanfic for high-quality writing and it’s just as well.
Refrain from taking offence when uncomfortable shifts in register and cringe-worthy descriptions (think ‘Snape’s milky-white belly’) surface. Presenter Danny’s comedic Pansy Parkinson voice will leave you guffawing for more, so much so, that there will be no spare energy to direct towards detected poor syntax.
So, should you fancy reliving a more adult-rated version your childhood Harry Potter fantasies, Malfoy and Harry anticipate your arrival in the C*ck Critiquer’s photography studio – and that’s just one plot line.