Jul. 4th, 2017

jeb124: (Default)
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usuallynervousfan:

Doctor Who 10x12

W i n n i n g? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win. I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone, or because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone. It’s not because it’s fun and God knows it’s not because it’s easy. It’s not even because it works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do, because it’s right. Because it’s decent.
And above all, it’s kind.
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jeb124: (Default)
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Hm. So you seem to be asking two different questions here, and you don’t seem to know that they’re different. They’re both interesting stories probably, but I think what I’d like to talk to you about here is that nonequivalence. 

You’ve asked for a dark!Ginny, one who secretly hates, who secretly relishes in pain or dismissal, one with a hidden superiority complex and a violence in her that’s cruel enough to match a young, arrogant Tom Riddle. The youngest of seven, forgotten and left behind, belittled, bitter, and the orphaned boy who orphaned so many more in his time. 

It’s not quite my type of story, that–my Ginny is not a kind beast, but she is not a cruel one either–but it could certainly be a story. 

But then–

Or basically: What if, Ginny was sorted into Slytherin?

This is not the same question. Did you know that? 

Slytherin, despite everything, does not mean evil. It certainly doesn’t mean that on my blog, but even in canon– this is where you find Regulus Black, who died to stop old Tom. This is where you find Draco Malfoy, who was an ignorant, whiny, and self-important child, but hardly an evil one. This is where you find Andromeda Tonks, who loved so hard and so fierce and so well that she ran from superiority, wealth, and family to marry into a Mudblood house that was so much warmer than her childhood home ever had been. 

And Slytherin!Ginny is a story that would fascinate me. The traits of Slytherin– ambition, cunning, adaptability, selfishness, and possessive love– these sit well on the youngest Weasley. She falls in love with Harry day one and never gives up on it. She transforms herself to step out from waiting in the eaves for him and lives for her own self, and it’s that bright creation of her daring self that wins him in the end. She goes after things with a single-mindedness that delivers– in love, in Quidditch, in kissing boys and defending Hogwarts until the end. She breaks rules. She loves hard. She doesn’t give up. She belongs in Gryffindor, sure– bravery is a watchword; her red hair is a war banner– but she would not be out of place in Slytherin. 

And what a story that would be? The silence in the Great Hall when the name “Weasley” got followed by “SLYTHERIN.” Mrs. Weasley’s face when owls flap through the Burrow’s windows, carrying Percy’s concerned note and Ron’s dubious scrawl and Hermione’s anxious ‘Dear Mrs. and Mr. Weasley, I’d thought you’d like to be informed…’ (Fred and George of course just laughed and laughed and laughed into the silence and fell off their bench at the Gryffindor table and got bruises on their bums.) The way the Weasley parents would stress and wonder and pace and ask what did we do wrong– but in the end, the warm Weasley Christmas sweater that would arrive in the mail at the Slytherin table, a G knitted into the front, all brilliant in silver and green. 

But the worries Ginny would have that first year, as the diary ate her from the inside, as it did cruel things with her hands–she’d have the same fears that are written up there in that ask as certainties: that being Slytherin meant she was secretly wrong. That her loneliness and her anger, her ambition and all her little selfishnesses meant she walked in the same skin as Tom, the ghost-boy who was using her hands to strangle chickens and write threats and hang cats by their tails and let out monsters so they could murder schoolchildren for the sake of their blood. She would worry she was like him and she would be wrong. 

But this is what I would want out of that story– that growth, that realization, that reclaiming. You can be lonely without lashing out. You can be angry without being cruel. You can be ambitious without stepping on other people to get there. Ginny is good– a Ginny with green on her herms is still good. She is sarcastic and a bit dark in her humor, casts a mean Bat Bogey and is jealous about Cho and fiercely defensive of Luna– this is true in a lion’s House or a snake’s. 

I want Fred and George playing Exploding Snap with her and teasing her for not cheering for them in Quidditch matches. I want her to find Millicent’s temper as hilarious as she finds Luna’s oddities, and to threaten a hex on anybody who calls Millicent fatty just as quick as she threatens the ones who call Luna loony. I want Harry to conscript her to help him spy on Draco and her to take to espionage like a duck to water– because you’re a Slytherin, he says, and she laughs and says, no, because I’m a nosy little sister and always have been. 

When Ginny stays her sixth year, during the Carrows’ reign and Voldemort’s months of power, I’d want her to spit cruel words at Death Eaters and to hide her wand up her sleeve, and to stand between children and their abusers. I’d want her to marshal an army in the Room of Requirement, with Luna and Neville and every other scared, willing soul. This was her home. These were her people, her family, the things she was willing to fight for. 

When they told her–their firebrand, their war banner–that she ought to have been in Gryffindor, I hope she laughed, I hope she fumed, I hope she proved them wrong. She was here for her friends, the way Regulus betrayed Voldemort for Kreacher, the way Narcissa lied to save Draco, the way Snape spent his adult life atoning for Lily, the way Andromeda left everything behind for Ted Tonks. 

I would want Ginny to wear green proud by the end of it. I’d want her to know the evil was in Tom’s shadow, not in her, not in the color they both wore. I’d want Hermione to look up histories for her of Slytherins who saved children and fought good wars and taught and loved and built things meant to last– because ambition is about going after what you want. What in that is evil? Selfishness is about understanding that you yourself have value. What in that is evil? Cunning is about creativity, quick-thinking, rolling with the punches and paying attention– what in that is evil?

Do you know the sort of evil you can do in the name of fairness? Do you know the sort of damage you can do with bravery, with not knowing how to back down, not knowing how sometimes there is a need to give, to adapt? Do you know how you can cut with cleverness, what sort of scornful superiority can live in those high towers? 

These are stories about choice. You choose your House. You choose how to live your House. Be brave, be cunning, be fair, be curious– all of those have their dark wizards. I refuse to believe otherwise. 
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jeb124: (Default)
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ink-splotch:

stories for the ladies of hogwarts, who cry, waver, giggle, trespass, and who deserve our respect all the same



overemotional: in defense of cho chang

Cho’s was not that kind of grief. Hers was the grief of the living. She was flying and learning and loving and, yes, crying. Cedric was not. Her pretty world, at fifteen, had been shattered. It was darker than anyone had ever warned her of, but she was growing into it. She was growing up. Sometimes that takes tears. 

Mourning is not selfless. We do not weep for the dead. We weep for the living–what could have been and the tragedy that is. We weep because our hearts are breaking. It is not selfless but neither are we. We are selves.

-

naive: in defense of hannah abbott

Hannah went out every few nights to breathe in green and work on her own projects. Sometimes Neville was there and sometimes he was away running defense lessons in the Room or, god forbid, sleeping. Sometimes they worked in companionable silence. Sometimes they talked about the DA, or wondered where Harry was. Neville told her about his disastrous early attempts with every non herbological magic. Hannah told him about her mother.

“This is where everything starts,” Professor Sprout had told them, back when Hogwarts was still a place of light, smiling under that frizzing grey hair. Professor Sprout had buried her hands in dirt and said, “This is what everything grows from. The ground up.”

Life is something you bury. Life is something you bury your hands in.

-

silly: in defense of parvati patil (in memory of lavender brown)

“Have you ever been Crucioed?” she asked.

The Auror opened his mouth to speak, but Parvati kept going, calm, dismissive: “I don’t mean in training, in a nice padded room with an instructor who will take you for beers after. I don’t even mean by some criminal in a dark alley when you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the end of the day. I mean have you ever been Crucioed in a classroom, in front of your sister and a bunch of terrified children. Have you ever been Crucioed by someone who enjoyed it, when you were expendable? Have you ever gasped yourself back to life when they were done and known the next morning you were going to walk right back in and sit at your desk, and wait, and hope it happened to you and not some kid half your size?”

The Auror had gone silent.

Parvati looked him over slowly. “I have been an object lesson in disobedience from people I couldn’t get away from. I have watched children scream, and done nothing, because I was in a war and it wasn’t strategic and they were soldiers too. They would survive. And most of us did. But we are not the same as we were. You will respect our war.”

-

lost: in defense of ginny weasley

She and Harry had both done what Voldemort could not—died and come back. Harry sacrificed, a lion’s death giving him a lamb’s rebirth. Ginny was risen in the Chamber of Secrets at the strike of a fang to a poisoned diary but she was not reborn then. Leaving the Chamber, she was as much a shade as Tom Riddle’s desperate ghost.

It was not Harry’s heroism, Ron’s desperation, her mother’s love, or her brothers’ toilet seat humor that brought her back (though the toilet seat helped). Ginny breathed deep at night. She wept. She remembered how to rage. She snuck out at night and stole each of her brothers’ brooms in turn. She took to the skies and brought herself back to life.

-

ugly: in defense of pansy parkinson

“Why are you here?” Parvati asked Pansy once. People asked her a lot, when they found her in Flourish and Blotts, or at work on the Prophet. Their eyes raked her, looking for green, for silver, for venom. Sometimes she’d smile back and let them see the danger.

“Because I’m not fifteen anymore,” said Pansy. “God, do you know what precious Potter Sr. got up to at school, the bully? But boys get to grow up to be men, you see, and us girls just grow up to be bitches.”

-

turncoat: in defense of andromeda tonks nee black

When Andromeda got married, it was in a dress that was silver, not white. The guests called her luminescent, but her cousin Sirius, who spun her with comical and affectionate abandon across the dance floor later that night, smiled, and said, “You thought green would be too obvious?”

“Too garish.”

“A snake changes it’s skin, but it’s still—”

“I’m not going to pretend I’m anything I’m not, cuz,” she said.

-

wallflower: in defense of susan bones

You have to make things your own, laying out new earth or filling your too-small kitchen with song. You have to live in your skin. It’s worth living in.

Susie learned the lines of scar tissue on her arm, like cracks in a ceiling, like the specific pattern of fissures and gouges that made a place its own. She traced her fingers over the raised scars while she studied obscure legal texts in her first little office, and felt like she was flicking her wand, casting ward circles, like she was circling this and claiming this, calling it her own.

-

loony: in defense of luna lovegood

In the spare bedroom at Shell Cottage, Ollivander made Luna a new wand. They hiked, slowly, through windswept bluffs until he found a tree he approved of.

“Willow?” Dean asked. “Or reed? I mean, it’s Luna, she’s kinda bendy, isn’t she?”

Ollivander went on Transfiguring his toolset out of bits of driftwood and sea glass. Luna smiled back, wide.

Bend and bend and never break. She could almost touch the tip of the wand to its hilt, when he was done. Ollivander gave her some oil to rub into it to keep it supple and one day, after the war, Luna curved it into a perfect circle. She held it up to her eye and thought about the last riddle she had ever used to open up Ravenclaw’s tower. A circle has no end. 
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tikkunolamorgtfo:

I don’t know how to explain to goyim that calling out anti-Semitism is not about hurt feelings or crocodile tears and everything to do with the fear of history repeating itself in the form of angry mobs hellbent on attacking Jewish people.

I don’t know how to explain that I am not calling Jay-Z out because I want to silence Black artists; I’m calling him out because I’m genuinely afraid that his false accusation about Jews owning all the property in America will result in people across the nation blaming Jews for the evils of the world and then inciting pogroms (violent mob attacks) against Jewish people.

I don’t know how to explain that I’m not calling out CDM because I don’t care about the liberation of Palestinians; I’m calling them out because I’m worried that if we allow non-Jews to police our beliefs and define for us what our ancient symbols mean, that it could ultimately lead to any displays of public Jewishness being deemed questionable or offensive, which could eventually end in violence against any Jews who are openly Jewish at public events.

I don’t know how to explain to goyim that nearly every Jewish person in the world either grew up with a relative who had to flee their home in the middle of the night because of this type of violence, or they actually experienced this trauma themselves. I don’t know how to tell them that this is an ingrained trauma in almost every existing Jewish family, and that it has been repeated every few generations across the globe since we entered the Diaspora nearly 2,000 years ago.

I don’t know how to explain that when people say almost the exact types of things that were shouted at my relatives by white Russian nationalists as they burned their villages to the ground that it doesn’t matter if you say you’re a progressive or an anti-racist, or you’re also marginalized in some way, because all I hear are the same words people have said to Jews for centuries before physically assaulting them, and I’m worried you’re going to eventually going to assault me, too.

I don’t know how to explain that if goyim read our history they might understand that we Jews have been used as scapegoats for the world’s evils everywhere on the planet from Lithuania to Ethiopia, and that regardless of our standing in society or our level of assimilation, that it’s always ended with our expulsion or murder or both.

I don’t know how to explain that I’m not trying to be petty or “take up space in the movement,” or draw attention away from other causes, but that I’m only asking for you to examine your words and actions now, while I still hope there’s time to pull out the seeds of anti-Semitism that have been planted, because I am literally afraid that if I don’t, you or somebody like you will ultimately be at my doorstep shouting “It’s their fault! Get them! Kill the Jews!”

I don’t know how to explain that I’m afraid you might believe the vitriol behind your words one day enough to kill me.
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jeb124: (Default)
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bastlynn:

mierac:

prokopetz:

It’s often been remarked that Spider-Man’s schtick wouldn’t work nearly so well if he didn’t live in a town with so many tall buildings, but consider: how well would Batman’s “I am the night” routine work if he was operating out of a normal city where people actually live, rather than a perpetually twilit urban hellscape that looks like the Art Deco movement had a one-night stand with Soviet Brutalism in a wrought-iron-and-gargoyle factory?

That is my favorite description of the Batman aesthetic ever.

OMDFG that’s a perfect description.
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