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alchemia in hp_britglish

brit vs amvsign language/gestures `i love you` (alt options: 'tust me', or 'ignore what I say' etc)

in the usa, `i love you` can be signed multiple ways, but the best known, even to the non-Deaf is to hold up the pinky and pointing fingers and the thumb, with the 2 middle fingers down; palm is to the person you are signing to.

did this sign become cliched enough to be known across the great pond (by non-Deaf people)? if not, is there another british sign that would be universally recognised- iow that even harry would know it (around the age of 18 in the fic). i know of brit sign websites, just dont know what the average hearing person would recognise without ever studying sign.

An alternative second best, would be a universally understood sign by hearing people that would convey something along the lines of `i dont mean what i am saying; i mean the opposite` (aurors harry needs to act like he hates someone even more than the other aurora he is paired with, so that the person they have in custody realises harry will take them to safety, while the the other aurors think harry, as the newest auror is simply asserting its turn, and he has reason to want to, torture the person to near death. (Legilemency isnt an option)


No, I can't visualise the ASL sign you mean, and I don't know a BSL equivalent for you either.
As for a symbol that negates what you say, all I can suggest is crossed fingers. But that is a notoriously childish thing. "I know I promised, but it doesn't count because my fingers were crossed."
You can quickly see the ASL "I Love You" sign here - it's a mash-up of the American manual alphabet letters I, L and Y.
Some hearing people know the manual alphabet but not other signs, and the gesture has become more widely known. BSL has a different, 2 handed manual alphabet, from what I've heard.
yup, thats it. american sign is more like french sign than british sign (ASL is my 1st language, I'm learning BSL (I do like the ASL alphabet better, easier if you have bags or something in your other hand, so you dont have to put it down to 'talk'))

Anyway, the americanised I Love You sign was popularised on some TV shows, including ones Jim Henson was involved with, so I was hoping that it made the pond leap.

hm, not quite the meaning we were thinking of, I'll ask my writing partner if they think it'd work; hp might, for lack of options?
dont know what the average hearing person would recognise without ever studying sign

I don't know the British sign for anything, never mind the American one. It may be different for younger people, but I read ALL the time, and I'm good at languages, but I have never had any exposure to sign language.

Tbh I haven't gone looking - but that's kind of the point I'm making. You might need to give Harry a reason for knowing it - maybe one of the other outcasts at his primary school was deaf, for example.

One sign that I think might be readily recognised is to kiss the fingers and then instead of blowing the kiss to the other person, put them on your heart.
i think most american's were exposed to it on television shows; there was a game show host that signed off with it; and it was used in shows Jim Henson's muppets were in, so I was hoping with him, it might have crossed over.

And yes, that's the point, that you wouldnt have gone looking; it's something that someone who didn't know sign would know thru culture. Even if I gave HP a reason to know it; the person they have in custody would need to recognise it as well (they aren't Deaf either; but they were raised muggle, so they'd have the same cultural exposures).

Anything else that might imply 'trust me', or 'i mean the opposite of what i say' etc. We were think the 'I love you sign', b/c its someone he cares about, but the other person doesn't know this, but maybe we are thinking the wrong way and need some other hand gesture that would imply 'trust me' etc.
I honestly think you're out of luck here. Like dorsetgirl, I'm not aware of any signs that are culture-wide (muggle-specific -- or the other aurors would see it and decode it?). Sign language is not widely known, to put it mildly, and nothing else comes to mind that means precisely what you're looking for.

The best I can come up with is that Harry angles himself so that only the person in custody can see his face, and as he's spouting whatever aggressive nonsense is needed to convince the other aurors, he gives the prisoner a slow, deliberate wink. That usually means 'just kidding', but it may be the closest to what you're trying to convey.
Unfortuntely I agree that there isn't a sign language gesture that works here, and starry_diadem's wink idea is probably the best you're going to get if you want a visual sign.

So it's a question of whether what is important to you is the visual sign, or the fact that in your original idea that only works because Harry and the Muggles share a culture the Aurors don't. You could still do that if a ranting Harry made a verbal cultural reference that the Muggles got and the Aurors didn't. "This is Stalag Luft and I'm Steve McQueen and you're going to do what I say, right?" Only better than that :-)
Thank you everyone who gave input. Sorry we got 'distracted' by offline issues so I didnt get to read (or reply to) everything until recently. Taking everyone's input, we've altered the scene, and found another way to move the story/characters through the issue we initially thought we could use sign for. Thanks again!