It’s been 20 years since the first Harry Potter movie hit the big screen, but the Potterhead fandom’s love for The Boy Who Lived and his crew is still going strong. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of fanfic depicting the Golden Trio over the years, but it’s a 557,000-word epic called All the Young Dudes about the original Marauders that’s going viral on TikTok. All The Young Dudes is darker and grittier than the original series, and according to longtime fans of the HP universe, it’s healing.
This massive epic, which was written by MsKingBean89, is told through the eyes of everyone’s favorite werewolf, Remus Lupin. Fans get the chance to see the wizarding world through Lupin’s eyes, for better or for worse. The fanfiction spans his life, from growing up in a boys’ home to meeting the Marauders at Hogwarts, to the moment Sirius passed away. The story depicts the deep love that James, Sirius, Lupin, and even Peter Pettigrew had for each other. Some of that love even turns romantic.
One of the twists that’s making All The Young Dudes so popular, five years after it was originally published on nonprofit sharing site Archive of Our Own (AO3), is that Remus Lupin is gay. There’s even a heartwarming scene set at a bonfire where Lupin shares this information with his closest friends, to which they reply with nothing but love and respect. That’s when the secret romance starts.
Enter the “Wolfstar” ship. Harry Potter fans have been shipping Lupin (the “wolf” of the relationship) and Sirius (the “star,” named after one of the brightest stars in the night sky) for years, but All the Young Dudes takes it a step further by depicting the entire relationship from start to finish. What starts out as a secret relationship between the two Marauders ends in full sight of their best friend, James Potter, and his whole-hearted support.
With thousands of 5-star reviews on Goodreads and raving support from the #BookTok community, this queer take on Harry Potter fanfic continues to grow in popularity. But why now? All the Young Dudes was published by the anonymous MsKingBean89 in 2017, and it’s been decades since the books came out. Some fans think its enduring popularity has something to do with both growing up and healing.
Many of HP’s most ardent fans are now full-fledged adults, and All the Young Dudes touches on very adult topics, which are still set within the magical world we all grew up with. Not only does the epic cover intimate relationships and the use of illicit substances, but it also explores the painful stigmas of growing up as a werewolf as well as being a gay man in 1970s Britain. But that’s exactly what fans find so cathartic about it.
The last few years have been particularly rough for queer HP fans. With turbulence surrounding creator J.K. Rowling and her controversial stance on trans women, some fans have felt as though they can’t enjoy the series that has brought so much magic into their lives. However, All the Young Dudes manages to put queerness front and center, and to many, reading it has been a deeply healing experience.
One thing is for sure: Harry Potter isn’t going anywhere. The fandom is still alive and well, and they’re creating pieces that still speak to us all. If anything, the astronomical success of All the Young Dudes proves that you’re never too old for a little magic.