This is day 17 of my outlining process, and I’m making some good strides, though I admit it isn’t as structured as it should be. Most of it is just notes on a pad of paper.
But I’ve accomplished two things, I’ve decided on Sirius’ fate, I’ve solidified my pairing choice (Harry/Hermione/Tonks) and I’ve decided that I will have Harry going to the Dursleys for a time.
First on soul bonds. I will not have this be a kiss—>be married—>have sex—>have kid kind of story. The bond that will be built between Harry and Hermione and Tonks will be built over time. It will be known by the trio eventually, but it won’t happen right away. Tonks will fight it.
I have not decided if I’m going to de-age Tonks or not. It will be easier if I do make her around the same age as H/HR, but it seems like lazy writing to me, so I probably won’t. Her age difference might change a bit though. I think people have determined that she’s around six to seven years older than Harry. (which of course makes her around 13 years younger than Lupin who is a pedophile it seems). I might move that to three or four years older so that a) it isn’t so large a gap and she might not care as much about it and b) she’ll be in Hogwarts for a time with Harry and Hermione.
Second, I’ve decided that Sirius will be going to Azkaban for a while in the beginning of the story. This will serve two purposes. First it will allow us to send Harry to the Dursleys (which is important for me, as I’ll discuss below), and second, we’ll get to test Dumbledore. I’m not going to go out of my way to bash anyone in this story, even Dumbles. So Sirius isn’t going to be sent to Azkaban as some sinister plot by Dumbledore to gain control of Harry. Instead, it will either be a simple oversight, or some other mechanism like a War Powers act that sees Padfoot behind bars. This also opens up some areas to explore about how Azkaban affects Sirius, which wouldn’t be there if he was found innocent right off.
Finally, the Dursleys. I’ve decided to send Harry there for a time. I’m thinking three or four years. It has to be long enough so that he remembers the abuse. The abuse of Harry will play a big role at the beginning of the story, and in how Harry’s personality plays out. Instead of having him be all submissive and idiotic as he was sometimes in canon, he’ll be more Slytherin. This will be helped out by how Sirius raises him after Harry is rescued from Durzkaban.
I’ve also decided on a starting point. This will start three to four years after 1981, with no prologue, as I said before. It will begin right after Sirius is released, and he’ll be having a discussion with Dumbledore as he prepares to take custody of Harry.