Harry Potter aficionados and Emo kids, rejoice! My Immortal, the infamously bad mid-2000's Harry Potter fan fiction is back and ready to enthrall a new generation-- this time in the form of a viral TikTok series. Widely recognized as the worst fan fictions ever written, the story recounts the times of uncanonical protagonist, Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, as she attends Hogwarts, dates Draco Malfoy, and embarks on a myriad of teen vampire shenanigans. Written by a mysterious FanFiction.com user known as XXXbloodyrists666XXX, My Immortal is rife with so many errors, it's grown into an internet legend of unparalleled notoriety.
Egregious plot holes. Heavy reliance on l33tspeak. Endless spelling mistakes. Painfully awkward sex scenes. Graphic depictions of torture. Flippant disregard for Harry Potter's source material, namely, Dumbledore screaming "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHER*******!" after catching Ebony boning her blonde boyfriend. My Immortal is The Room of amateur writing, with a cult following reminiscent of its Wiseau-ian counterpart. Already beloved by many, the story recently has found a new audience on TikTok, teaching zoomers the uncomfortably-horny depravity of mid-aughts fandom culture.
"Hi my name is Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way and I have long ebony black hair (that's how I got my name) with purple streaks and red tips that reaches my mid-back and icy blue eyes like limpid tears," TikTok user @artemisthewitch lip syncs to a voiceover quoting the series' introduction, an instrumental rendition of My Chemical Romance's "Teenagers" scoring the affair. "and a lot of people tell me I look like Amy Lee (AN: if u don't know who she is get da hell out of here!)." Charming!
Each of My Immortal's one-woman installments features Artemis as Ebony, acting out each chapter as narrated by fellow influencer @aceise, with an eclectic cast of objects as her costars. Draco Malfoy is portrayed by her hand, complete with black, painted nails, with Severus Snape a light blue "Ice Bat" ugly doll, and Harry Potter an anthropomorphic Hot Topic shopping bag. Since Artemis' first video back in October, which garnered more than 895,000 views and 287,000 likes, the series has gone viral, with each of the now 23 episodes racking up tens of thousands of reactions from horrified zoomers and traumatized millennials alike. "I just had war flashbacks," commented one user. "I am convinced the world actually ended when we all read my immortal and everything's been a fever dream since," wrote another.
The adaptation has grown so popular that the 23-year-old content creator says the series has become an integral part of her digital identity. "So a cool side effect I did not expect when I started making My Immortal content is that apparently, some of you, when you think of My Immortal, when you think of Ebony, just immediately think of my face now," she explained. "And that's not how I expected that I would be immortalized in people's -- get it, immortalized -- in people's memories but I'm ok with this too."
Artemis isn't alone in embracing My Immortal's checkered legacy. Over the years, the series has evolved from a widely-detested topic of communal flaming to a treasured artifact of millennial internet nostalgia, representing the pitfalls of 2000's fan culture and the antiquated tradition of poring over terrible fan fiction. In recent years, the series has even reached academic circles, with Anne Jamison, who taught a course on Fan Fiction at Princeton University calling the work, which she says is likely satirical, "really brilliant, in its way," encompassing "all the things that people in the fanfic community most hate."
"It's all there," Jamison told Vulture. "The author's note that tells the reader to go away, the redundancy of calling herself 'Ebony' while saying her hair is ebony, the extensive describing of the eyes, the describing of the skin. It was hitting all these tropes at once."
Amid this resurgence, the series has found new immortality through fan art ...
... a popular YouTube series...
Several people have even attempted to claim authorship of the piece, alleging that they were, in fact, FanFiction.net user XXXbloodyrists666XXX, a self-described goth teen named Tara Gilesbie, living in Dubai -- most notably a writer named Rose Christo. In 2017, Christo came forward as the mastermind behind My Immortal, alleging she wrote the work while in New York's foster care system. A survivor of child abuse and child pornography, Christo said the fanfiction was intentionally bad, with a plan of using the work's notoriety and in turn, the fandom community's resources, to help her find her younger brother. Although Christo would tell the gut-wrenching tale in a memoir entitled Under the Same Stars, Macmillan Publishing scrapped the book after learning she falsified fact-checking documents proving her identity. To this day, no one knows the fan fiction's true author, an internet mystery joining the ranks of Cicada 3301 and the question of who the hell invented Bitcoin.
The TikTok series' popularity has proven the inevitable -- My Immortal is here to stay, to the concurrent delight and horror of millennials everywhere. But hey, it could be worse -- better My Immortal than Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.