Anthony-goldstein

for avoidance of doubt

what did not happen:

JK Rowling: HOGWARTS IS A PERFECTLY REPRESENTATIVE PLURALITY WITH HIGHLY VISIBLE MEMBERS OF EVERY MARGINALISED GROUP IN BRITAIN, NEVER CRITICISE ME, LOOK, A JEW, BE GRATEFUL

what did happen:

someone on twitter: hey, are there any Jewish wizards at Hogwarts?

JK Rowling: Uh, yeah, dude, the guy named ‘Goldstein’.

On Anthony Goldstein: Judaism in the Potterverse

[NOTE: I don’t know why I have been obsessed with this for like, the last week, but I have, so here you go. Also, I cannot believe an Anthony Goldstein tag actually exists on Tumblr. When I despair, I am reminded that no one quite obsesses over barely-extant characters like the HP fandom, and I love them for it.]

I find Anthony Goldstein a really fascinating way to think about the way that a Jewish character would fit into the wider spectrum of the magical world as realized by JK Rowling. On the surface, it shouldn’t matter. A Jew should’t be any different from any other minority culture shoved into Ravenclaw (which for what it’s worth seems to be the house that stereotypically high-achieving minorities get sorted into). And yet it’s a question worth thinking about, particularly because Rowling’s world is constructed on notions specifically Christian in character.

This largely boils down to the struggle of Absolute Good vs Absolute Evil, with terms of morality used as alternative names for God and Satan, two independent forces in eternal opposition.  This dichotomy isn’t really a thing in Judaism (Satan is understood as an agent of God). The books are ultimately framed in the context of this struggle, from the world building to Harry’s personal coming of age and fight against Voldemort. It is the very foundation of British Wizarding culture, and to not proscribe to this view would leave someone like Anthony Goldstein permanently alienated.  

Culture clash would arise for Goldstein out of such things as the notion of ‘the Dark Arts.’ In traditional Potterverse, the Dark Arts are 'Dark’ because of some evil that seems inherent in the nature of the creature/spell. The reaction toward such magic is 'defense,’ by either learning how to beat the creatures, or counteract the spellwork. Judaism would not, arguably, make the distinction between good and evil magic in such terms. They would not be mutually exclusive. Magic would be considered evil in the context of its practitioner, not so much in the particulars of a spell or beast. Specifically, magic would be primarily understood as evil if the one who uses it does so to render himself a God-like figure. The ramifications of this would be subtle but significant. Voldemort, for instance, would be evil not because of the magic that he uses, but because he uses it with the intent to elevate himself above the condition of man, and exact powers that humanity should not possess.

This would give rise to the question of whether any sort of magical power is permissible for humans, a question that I could see being an ongoing concern for Goldstein, particularly as he presumably lacks the presence and affirmation of other Jewish wizards in Hogwarts. I could  see Goldstein as someone predisposed to disciplines that require an individual to not see himself or herself in inherent opposition with a type of magic, such as Care of Magical Creatures.

Jewish tradition has a history of magic different from that of medieval Britain, from which a lot of the stock images and sentiment in Potterverse arises. Rather than identifying with Merlin, or the Witches burned at the stake, a Jewish wizard might instead look instead to the 'miracles’ of certain medieval Rabbis, or Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel and the Golem of Prague, or King Solomon. Demons instead of Goblins as the morally ambiguous, humanoid figure. Dybbuks instead of Boggarts. Magic derived from Hebrew as opposed to Latin. There is the potential that Goldstein would find himself, or his family, identifying with a magical past and identity that would have very little to do with that adopted by British wizardry, and by extension Hogwarts as a community and educational establishment. 

Then of course there is the fun of parsing apart the whose and wheres of Anthony Goldstein. Is he a North London Jew?  The next generation of an old British family? Or apart of one of the twentieth century Jewish-immigration waves? Is there a wider Jewish Wizarding community, or is he an anomaly? The last of a tradition? Judaism’s rich tradition of fantasy storytelling and folktales were largely wiped out along with the rural European communities that fostered them, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched that if there was a larger Jewish Wizarding community, it had all but vanished after the Holocaust, and that people like Goldstein represent what remains of a nearly-extinct subculture. 

 Anti-Semitism was historically a feature of elite British boarding schools, and it would not be unreasonable to assume that it would extend to magical ones, especially seeing as there is even less of an established Jewish presence in the magical community than the muggle one.  

Anthony Goldstein would likely never have a place where he could realize himself fully, constantly requiring to either subdue his magic, or his Jewishness in turn. He would find himself alienated on a fundamental level with the British magical community, and would be plagued by doubt when it came to the practice of magic. He would be perceptive and capable at communicating with magical non-humans, and would not see magic as a source of darkness, but the human thirst for power. He would distrust magical assertions of authority, and would find himself burdened with a past that his education has not equipped him to fully understand. 

A discreet Portkey was set up for him once a year.  It was usually an empty bottle brought up from the kitchen, except for the time Fred Weasley managed to enchant all the bottles to hide themselves around the castle and explode into different colored confetti any time a prefect walked by.  That year, he had to make do with a biscuit tin.

 

Anthony often thought that he’d just skip it.   He was usually only just digging into his classes for the year, and there was always at least three essays he would have to finish when he got back.  He sometimes started to write the letter to his mum telling her he’d be staying at Hogwarts before the guilt would overwhelm him.

 

The truth was, he wasn’t sure he believed in any of it any more.  He lived in a world where bushes really did catch fire without flame, where water could be made to spurt from a stone.  Those wonderful, terrifying tales he grew up with could really be true- and that made him question his faith.

 

But he went.  Every year.

 

Every year, he felt the jerk under his navel, landed dizzily in the field behind his house.  Every year he entered the warm kitchen, smelling of freshly baked challah and sweet apples.  Every year he helped his mother clean up after dinner, licking the honey off the spoon she offered him as a treat.

 

Every year he recited the same prayers, sung the same melodies, told the same lies to the friends and neighbors he saw at shul.  Every year, he felt the slight dizziness and unreality that came with fasting.  Every year, he watched as tears rolled down his mother’s cheek as she recited the Yizkor for his father.

 

Every year, he cried too.

 

And every year, when the kugel had been eaten and the kitchen was in a state of controlled disaster, Anthony Goldstein would kiss his mother on the cheek, gather up the leftovers she had neatly wrapped for him, and walk out to find the empty bottle in the middle of the field.

 

And returned to the real world.

(Source: thejdc.convio.net)

L'shanah tovah, lovely followers!  May your new year be sweet and full of joy.

Jews in Media: Hogwarts, The Holocaust, and West Wing

(NOTE: This is a submission from one of our followers, not a post written by WWC.)

You know I was going to write this on my own blog but I saw a person sent an ask about the Jewish myth of the Golem so I figure here is as good a place as any. (If I was wrong in that feel free to send me a message about it. I’m hoping I came to the right place for a rant about this)

In the latest bit of useless attempts at keeping her series current, JK Rowling made a statement saying that in fact her series is full of diversity. Unbeknownst to us, Hogwarts is full of queer people and apparently Jews. When asked for specifics on that she simply told a fan on Twitter ”Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard.”

#1 Oooh much diversity very difference one Jew

#2 Who the f*ck is Anthony Goldstein? Can you tell me who he is and where he is in the series because I can say my novel contains a herd of Asians, Latinos, African Americans, and LGBTQ characters and when you ask where they are I can say “Oh they are just off screen” because that sounds like a great answer right? Feel free to reread #1 for my thoughts on that.

#3 Could you have tried to pick a more stereotypically Jewish sounding last name?

It’s unfortunate how common this actually is. It’s just a little more noticeable when an author tries to retroactively create diversity in her series.

In essence, whether it’s books, movies, or TV shows Jewish characters come in two forms. 

The first is the token Jew 
Like the invisible Anthony, there are many of this varietal. For slightly more visible examples lets turn to Glee.

Rachel and Puck were both Jewish. They said so at one point and periodically made cute references to it, like the time the show jokes about them dating nice Jewish boys and girls. So they date eachother for one episode and then this plotline is trashed.
Their judaism is a detail that can be sidelined at anytime. For instance any christmas episode, where Rachel and Puck merrily sing Christmas carols with the rest of the gang. Not a single f*cking mention of a holiday that happens to fall during the same month that perhaps they might actually celebrate.
But then of course the show has one more token Jew for us, call it a subsection of the trend: The annoying token Jew. Whatshisname(because I don’t remember his name and neither do you) did the school gossip news thing. He had a tendency to carry a microphone with a Jewish star and hebrew lettering on it and kleizmer-like music would play as background over his scenes of blackmail, disgusting treatment of women, or being generally annoying and very visibly Jewish. We watched him be consistently unpleasant and very, very Jewish. He has what some might call, a Jew-fro, in reference to his unruly curly hair and also there was that one time where we got to watch him masturbate. If viewers forgot Rachel and Puck were Jewish I am sure they didn’t forget that this guy was and then they hated him for that along with everything else. (please note I stopped watching Glee in season 2, since then he might have had sporadic character growth but not enough to justify what I sat through in two seasons)

Oh I looked up his name. It’s Jacob Ben Israel. 

Pause for some serious side-eye

The second kind of Jew is the suffering Jew
Now this one comes with some unfortunate cultural baggage. Jewish history is full of suffering and subjugation. We have several holidays based around times when we were mistreated, we overcame it(usually with a heaping dose of godly help), and so we celebrate the occasion.
But even in celebrating the holiday we spend a long time dwelling on how we suffered. On Passover we are commanded to teach our children of the horrors we had to endure and we are supposed to treat these experiences as if they were our own. On top of that there is the Holocaust, the one piece of history people know about when it comes to Jews. that time thousands were murdered. (I won’t dwell on this except to say every history class I had in public school, the day my teachers discussed the Holocaust everybody in the room stared at me. No, I’m not kidding)
So in essence there’s a lot of culture and history that creates this idea of the Jew as a victim. From in the culture and outside it this idea is so pervasive that the only other kind of Jew you will see in media is the one steeped in tragedy.

This is the Jew you see in every single Holocaust movie, it’s the family in Fiddler on the Roof, it’s Ben Kingsley in Schindler’s List. They are tragic and heartbreaking and heroic in their endurance and I couldn’t really tell you more about them than that. And I am not hating on these films, many of them are good and/or great. But they are all of a piece and there are quite a lot of them, all of them showing Jews in the same way. (I understand there is a similar trend with African Americans in films about slavery or the civil rights movement) Then these are the movies and books and shows people will point to and say, but look at all those Jews. There’s loads of Jews in things.

From somewhere in the halls of Hogwarts and invisible Anthony Goldstein is frantically waving his arms in mute agreement. Sadly he is still invisible and therefore does not count.

Which leads me to West Wing. 

Aaron Sorkin is not a perfect writer by any means. His work is littered with problematic viewpoints and discussions.
But, he did write Toby Ziegler.
Toby is fairly religious, enough that we see him in a synagogue(and one that actually seems like a real synagogue and not a stereotype of one). People around him crack jokes about Passover(“Why is this night different from all other nights” CJ says ironically to Toby and several others in the Oval Office). Somebody compares a bad speech he wrote to sitting shiva. None of these things come off as crass or offensive. They are simply casual reminders that this guy is Jewish.

But the great thing is that Toby is a multifaceted character who just happens to be Jewish. That is one of his many facets. It informs his character but never overwhelms it. He is not The token Jew and neither does he tragically suffer through endless tragedies. He can be funny even at his most dour and he can be viciously and elegantly outraged at the world. He is rarely(if ever) shown as a victim and one time in a Christmas special he went overboard on setting up festivities around the White House because he was sick of getting blamed for the lack of holiday cheer(He goes really overboard, there is a band and a choir and I think somebody was playing an accordion at one point)

The best part is that he is in fact one of two main Jewish characters. Josh Lyman is Jewish although he doesn’t practice very much(he might be half Jewish?) and he is a completely different sort of character from Toby. He’s brash, idealistic, enthusiastic, and really prone to shoving his foot right in his mouth and that alone shows us the variety of what Jewish characters can be. in a shifting cast of about 6 or so people, a third of them are Jewish. That is literally better than any television show I have ever seen. 

I’m not saying people should go out and write little Toby Zeiglets and Josh Lymans. But maybe the next time you want to write a Jewish character consider the tropes and how to either use them in new ways or sidestep them entirely.

(Honorable mention for awesome Jewish characters goes to Annie from Community. You bring that Menorah to that Christmas party Annie. You go girl)

Shira’s comments: I disagree about JKR not because I feel like Anthony Goldstein should count as Jewish representation but because it would have been far worse if she hadn’t tossed an Ashkie sounding name in there. Far too many people are ready to forget about us at best, or at worst, conflate any attempt to include us or portray us positively with whatever the political government of Israel is up to. So while I’m not saying she deserves a medal for putting an easily recognizably Ashkenazi name in the cast of minor characters, I don’t think there’s any other way she could have answered the question, “are there Jews at Hogwarts?”

So let’s not give her the proverbial “diversity points”, but what she did is still better to my eyes than a lot of other people, who’d rather we just not be there at all. And here we come to “two Jews, three opinions.”

I agree with you about how it’s really annoying and destructive to our collective morale as a people that we’re constantly suffering and being victimized in fiction. I’ve gotten more than one note from people who have just finished a book of mine and were really excited that they weren’t about the Holocaust or in other ways related to anti-Semitism.

I also agree that we have a representation problem even when it comes to non-suffering characters, because fictional Jews are often whiny, neurotic, emasculated (by Mommy issues or their wives) if male; unfeminine, nagging, and aggressive in a negative way if female. I’m also tired of seeing Jewish characters who are repulsed by their own Jewishness. I mean, it takes all types to make a people, but when something like that is overrepresented, you’ve got to wonder what’s up.

In some ways, I almost feel like we have the opposite problem of people of color being played by white actors — we have Jewish actors playing Gentile characters, because we’ve been let into Hollywood all right, but God forbid all those characters portrayed by Jewish actors actually BE Jewish. The original Kirk and Spock were both played by Jews! (Of course, this isn’t always the case; the only Jew in the main cast of The Ten Commandments was the dude playing the Jewish villain who was in collusion with Pharaoh. THANKS FOR NOTHING. …although, Anne Baxter’s figure in that movie definitely helped me figure out I liked ladies.)

Harry Potter and the Jewish Wizard

So I guess J.k. Rowling is back to editorializing her own canon, a rare event which only happens literally every time someone asks about diversity in the Potterverse. The last major shakeup was when she announced that Dumbledore was really Gay All Along, which fooled precisely nobody and only served to reveal just how little Rowling understands the importance of actual representation in media.

So now, when asked if there are any Jews at Hogwarts, Rowling revealed that Anthony Goldstein, a minor supporting character from the 5th book in the series, was a Jewish Wizard. Rowling later expanded that she sees Hogwarts as accepting to all faiths, and that the only religion she never imagined to be represented there is Wicca. I guess as an actual magic-practicing faith they’d find Hogwarts to be kind of Heretical? I think it was meant to a kind of tongue-in-cheek remark.

I guess this revelation is good in terms of wish-fulfillment for devoted readers, and it’s certainly not a stretch to assume that a guy named Goldstein might be jewish, but the fact remains that there’s no real reference to it in the series. The importance of this might vary from person to person, and as a young jewish person reading the series I never really felt aware of how overwhelmingly christian hogwarts was. But I grew up in a fairly jewish area, so I never really felt like an oddity or outcast, and some young readers probably could have benefited from that inclusion.

A lot of people are of the opinion that forcing standards for representation on content creators infringes on their artistic freedom, and I think there’s a misunderstanding that works should be required to meet a certain, boilerplate diversity quota. That’s not what anybody’s really talking about. It’s only when a certain group, or groups are conspicuously absent from a place that they would reasonably have some presence that people start to get upset. When Lena Dunham set her series Girls in New York City, only to have an almost entirely white cast, people were understandably upset about it. The Harry Potter series has already received criticism for its glaring lack of Black characters, who have even less representation at Hogwarts than what would make sense if you look at the UK’s census data. Ridley Scott directed a film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, about a bible story which had Egyptians and Jews in its central roles, then gave all the roles to white Goyim.

At this point, I don’t think people are as mad as they were 5 years ago about Harry Potter’s low diversity quotient, but J.K. Rowling seems to think rewriting her own history or handing readers a stack of Cliffnotes is just as effective as including the information in the original work and letting it inform her characters’ thoughts and actions. I don’t think anyone is really fooled by this. It’s a shortcut. It’s like putting a coaster under a wobbly table leg: Nobody’s going to think you actually went out and got the table repaired. Just like nobody’s going to think Rowling had diversity in mind when she wrote these books. I don’t necessarily care about that. But I do think she needs to respect her readers’ intelligence and stop trying to trick us with shallow empty gestures.

Cold, burning judgement. Not breathing, but still living. Not man, but in every way his equal. A creation, yet in every way equal to the creator.

The creator, himself, a creation.

Born of steel and metal and endowed with a mind and a soul. Brought to life by a single word.

Creation and emulation or transgression and hubris?

It lives and worse still, it loves.

(Worst of all, it can be loved.)

The cold burn of steel against flesh.

___________

He wonders if he chose rightly, all those months ago when Artemisia Hyslop first approached him about the project. She had insisted that he was the right person for the job, along with the few others who had been there a decade ago when they first modified Lavender Brown’s body and made her what the muggles called a cyborg. If there’s anyone who deserves to be part of this, Hyslop had said, smiling at him, it’s you. Such high praise from the Head of the Department of Mysteries – there was no point denying the swell of pride in his chest at the thought that he had been handpicked for this job by the Head of the Department.

On the other hand, he finds he has wandered now into unknown territory. Dangerous, profane ground. There are no clear-cut answers here, only questions, questions and more questions.

Am I? Do I dare?

As long as you humble yourself, says his father meaningfully and then says no more.

But.

But.

The creature, no being, lives and thinks and feels. It is no mere Golem, made of steel and not clay. This is fully man, fully inhuman and it is wise and it speaks.

(And worse still, it can be loved.)

_________

Have not robots lips, and humble, holy men too?

_________

Has he now turned his back on the One who gave him his gift of magic? What is love and what is idolatry, when love is aimed not at man, but that which was made in the image of man?

Yet is a living, dreaming, loving creation but an image – only ever destined to remain a hollow imitation of man, though it has a soul and if it so willed, could even fashion for itself a horcrux – or is it a man?

Is this love or is this blasphemy?

One way or another, this is dangerous ground, this is drowning, this is the beginning of the fall and now there is no turning back. There is no switch, no button to switch it off, to kill it.

They cannot kill this robot.

__________

Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.

__________

For the first time he is truly shaken and asks himself, every time as the burning cold sears his skin, where his faith lies in all of this. They have always questioned and doubted and erred on the side of caution. Only the most holy might fashion Golems and only the most holy might truly understand the mysteries of language for only holiness tempered by humility can stop man’s heart from swelling with pride and from moving to hubris.

But this, this in itself, such fiery passion, so heady, so full of folly, is not that its own hubris?

__________

This is the very ecstasy of love
Whose violent property foredoes itself,
And leads the will to desperate undertakings.

__________

If only. That there were rules to follow. That there were those who had gone before and who, in their greater wisdom, had laid out the rules for the future of the world. In this uncharted territory, there is only his wisdom and the halakha and that does not tell him, as a simple yes or no, whether to fall in love with a living and thinking wixen being that he has created, is blasphemy or not.

He must answer this question for all of them.

Cold lips. Dead – no living. Thrumming, humming, living. Searing electric heat, gently brushing his neck. Cold, burning cold. Cold, burning steel. Cold, burning judgement.

_________

אוֹ בְּאַיְלוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה אִם תָּעִירוּ | וְאִם תְּעוֹרְרוּ 
אֶת הָאַהֲבָה עַד שֶׁתֶּחְפָּץ:

Awaken not, nor stir up love, until it please.

(For the anon who wanted to hear about Anthony Goldstein. Quotes taken from Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Song of Songs Ch 2 v 7. The lovely waveringbriar was an invaluable help in providing me information & help wrt AIs and debates on the ethics surrounding their creation in the Jewish community. If there is anything you think that needs to be fixed in this fic, please do tell me.)

20 Random Facts About Anthony Isaiah Goldstein

1. He was named for a Soviet Soldier.

When his grandmother was fifteen and eight days, the Allgemeinwohl broke down the door. When she was fifteen and nine days, her family was handed over to the SS. When she was fifteen and twenty-three days, she went through the gates into one line and her father and brothers went into another. When she was fifteen, six months, and seventeen days, the gates opened again for her, and she had to be carried through them. She weighed sixty-nine pounds and had had typhoid for three weeks, one day. The soldier who wrapped her in his coat and carried her sixteen and a half miles to hospital because the truck hurt her and made her scream did not speak Polish or Yiddish. She did not speak Russian, but she learned his name was Antonin Vladmirovich. She lived. She had three daughters. When she was fifty and eight days, she named her first grandson Anthony.

2. He learned to whistle with his fingers in his mouth at four.

He was so silent, his grandparents called him Little Gonif and his parents had seriously considered belling him like a cat. His first word hadn’t been until he was almost eighteen months old, his first sentence not until almost a year later. Not that he was unintelligent, that much was obvious. Hand the boy any form of little trinket, and you’d get it back neatly disassembled into all its component parts, and his dark eyes would follow you around the room voraciously, but even as an infant, he barely cried. So when his father whistled for a cab and his young son almost immediately repeated the signal perfectly, there was serious discussion about checking a toddler for Polyjuice.

3. He was pulled from day school after less than a month.

Both of his grandfathers agreed (a rarity) that he should go to a proper Yeshiva. His parents were debating between Bassett House and Sussex House. The North West London Jewish Primary School was a compromise, but unfortunately, neither set of adults had taken the child himself into account. For three weeks, teachers tried everything to get him to speak, to interact, to do anything but sit at his desk and shake with fear or sob quietly, but when the other children homed in on the vulnerability and began to torment him, they began suggesting that homeschooling be considered. When something happened and the payot of a boy tormenting him caught fire, it stopped being a suggestion.

4. He had a hamster named Oz the Great and Powerful.

It wasn’t his to begin with. Actually, he didn’t know whose it was. For a few days, it was just a scratching, scrabbling sound in the walls. They set out rat traps, called the landlords and raised hell, even seriously considered whether they might have a ghost given how loud it was and how there were absolutely no other signs of rats or mice. It took Tony almost a full day of carefully, patiently laying his hands against the walls and using pure magical instinct to feel for alive thing before he found the tiny golden Siberian Dwarf hamster. Between the ratio of fuss to fuzz and his fondness for the book series, the name was almost a foregone conclusion, as was the vast network of green tubing his room soon sprouted.

5. He was always extremely good at crossword puzzles.

He was also pretty good at the logic puzzles with the little grids, cryptograms, ciphers of any kind, sudoku (when he was older and those got popular) and anything else that required filling in the missing pieces and finding patterns. Crossword puzzles were just even better because they had the added bonus of catering to his love of trivia and esoterica. His record on the Prophet’s Sunday edition is 8 minutes. Sunday Times is 24, but he stubbornly insists that’s because of all the Muggle pop culture that’s so much more difficult. A ledger is an accounting tool, not a playing card.

6. Over two thirds of his classmates had never heard him speak until the DA.

With his parent’s help and quite a good therapist, he was doing a lot better with his social anxiety by the time he went to Hogwarts. He would talk to teachers, to other students when necessary, and he warmed up soon enough to his roommates, especially when he realized Boot actually surpassed him on social awkwardness and that no one noticed him past Corner and Cornfoot anyway. It shocked him later to learn that the amount of willpower often needed to engage at all had given him a reputation as curt and confrontational. Both renditions of the DA were his first experiences with successful casual conversation and eventually, friends to a level he’d never imagined being able to endure, much less delighting in.  And of course, nothing quite changes your perspective like near death.  

7. He loved Li since third year.

He had, he knew damned well, all the grace and fluidity of movement of a sack of turnips falling down a flight of uneven stairs. But she? She was a sylph, a goddess, a poetess, a siren of motion against whose rocks he would dash himself all too willingly. Of course, that would mean having the balls to at least, like, introduce himself as more than “Corner’s roommate,” and the idea that she would have any interest in him if the infamously beautiful, brilliant youth hadn’t gotten anywhere beyond a pas de deux was ludicrous. The idea that she might have decided Mike was a fantastic dancer but way too full of himself and clearly in love with Terry never occurred.

8. He always planned to be an Unspeakable.

He first heard about them from Steve’s older brother when he was a first year, and he almost swooned. There was an entire division of magical scholars and scientists whose job was to cloister themselves in the depths of the Ministry studying magic both so ancient and so advanced that it was literally too dangerous to even discuss the existence of outside their ranks? He will forever be grateful that when the stammering, mumbling eleven year old asked how to attain one of the most elite positions in magical studies, Professor Flitwick did not laugh at him. Like so many other things in his life, he didn’t realize it should have been impossible until after he did it.

9. He holds himself responsible for Geoff Hooper’s death.

His therapist says that from the injuries he describes, the boy was probably as good as dead anyway. His therapist says he’d never have made it as far towards the edge of the collapse as he did if he’d had to carry another and they’d have both died. His therapist uses words like “understandable” and “instinct” and “not your fault.” But Tony knows it wasn’t a calculation. He remembers hearing the horrible shattering sound and seeing the mortar burst from between the stones. He remembers looking down at the bloody face, the wide eyes. He remembers thinking fuck it. He remembers dropping him. Not putting him down. Dropping him. He remembers running as fast as he had ever but not fast enough. He remembers the first stone striking his shoulder and spinning him around. He remembers the last thing before the darkness…a boy reaching, trying to crawl, screaming lost in the crash. Screaming his name. Fourteen years, eight months, two days old.

10. He believes he heard the voice of G-d while he was trapped. 

He’s a scientist, even above and beyond all the personal research he’s put into this sort of phenomenon. He knows that he was dehydrated, in shock, in pain, pumping enough adrenaline and endorphins to choke a manticore, that he’d lost a dangerous amount of blood, and every other reason it was a hallucination. Except it wasn’t. Hallucination was when he thought he saw lights, or when he thought the stones were breathing. This was begging and crying into the dark and being afraid it would fall more and crush him and afraid it wouldn’t and he’d be buried alive, this was please please pleaseplease and a kind of soulscreaming that you can’t explain, and then it was peace. But not resignation. A deal. And then the lights were real, the voices were outside, they had found him, and he didn’t need to be a scientist to know the likelihood or to know that the proper word for those odds was miracle.

11. He was addicted to pain medication for almost two years.

He didn’t even realize it for a solid eighteen months. The core of the wand was that he really did need them for the legitimate on the label reasons. Eighteen year old boys just weren’t supposed to get sat on by seven stories of medieval stone tower, and if they were, they definitely weren’t supposed to start Auror training six months later or be doing their first missions on the street thirteen months later. Throw in that he might have just possibly been trying to impress a certain someone he couldn’t believe he was dating, and there wasn’t a day the stumps didn’t wind up bleeding raw. But then he was taking it on good days. And to take the edge off the stress. And because if he didn’t….yeah. He confessed it in writing because he was too ashamed to tell her. She said they’d get through it and asked him to marry her while she was holding a sick bucket for him. She was his second miracle.

12. He beat the crap out of his future brother in law the first time they met.

He didn’t speak any Chinese at all at that point, but he could hear the tone well enough – accusatory, lecturing, scolding – and when Li started to cry and Xao said something that involved slapping her (even if it was on the stone, she still flinched) that’s the last thing Tony remembers really clearly before it all dissolved in a kind of irrational ohnothefuckyoudon’t. The closest thing he had on hand to throw was his crutches, but while it might not have been the best tactical move, he surprised himself as much as he clearly surprised Xao, the rest of Li’s family, and the two orderlies (with several stunning spells) it took to separate them. Oddly, Li was the only one to take it entirely in stride, switching to English for his benefit as she mocked her brother for dismissing DA just because they were injured.

13. He eloped…kind of.

In all fairness, planning a wedding between an Anglo-Chinese Buddhist family and a family of Essene Jews was never going to be easy. The obligatory roast piglet for luck was only the tip of that iceberg. But after two years, it had gotten beyond ridiculous and was clearly just petty sniping with a dose of stalling in hopes that they’d give up. So they decided to run off to the US for the weekend (much harder to follow them to Atlantic City than anywhere in the UK), get married, and come back with an ultimatum: It’s already done, and in six months, we start living like it, whether you get your asses in gear on a ceremony or not. It was a lovely wedding.

14. He visited Israel for the first time the same trip he brought home his children.

He wore the talit his grandfather had sent him with, the kippah from his dress uniform that he had been married in. He had not planned to, but when he was there he knew he had to take off his legs with his shoes, and again his brow, his lips, his tears were pressed to broken stone, his breath filled with dust, his fingers scraped bloody pressing the slip of paper deep into the cracks that must have made that same shattering sound so long ago. It simply said thank you. Three days later, with a stroke of the same pen, he became a father. He was twenty-three years, one month, three days old. It was his third miracle.

15. He has half the Ministry convinced he owns a talking cricket.

It’s a perfectly ordinary cricket he keeps in his office at the DoM, a good luck present from his mother in law…one of the few such talismans he hasn’t thanked her for profusely and then stashed in a closet somewhere (for all that she still doesn’t like him, she does worry about him quite a lot). Visitors, certain pompous academics, difficult witnesses, and gullible interns all get a tailored variation of the legend of the lucky cricket and how sometimes, if you’re about to have really incredibly (good/bad, he switches it up depending on how you’re feeling) luck, you can hear it talk. Or at least, you can hear the results of some guided questions and a time delayed ventriloqutious charm, among other odds and ends of magic. The looks on people’s faces are worth every bit of that bastard mess of spellcraft.

16. He can play piano.

There were lessons when he was young, and he got really quite good, though never anywhere near prodigy or even proper professional level. For the next seven years, it languished as something he sometimes puttered around with on holiday, but he took it up again in physical therapy to help with some tendon damage to his right hand, and he never quite dropped it again. He has taught Li and the girls – ok, he’s taught Asa, Fi doesn’t have the patience - splurging on a special piano that compensates for the pedals, and sometimes, they play together. His favorite piece is Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude

17. He has never managed to successfully use chopsticks.

It’s not for lack of trying, nor lack of desire. He knows that his in-laws will never quite believe he isn’t being passive-aggressive, and his daughters are as good as their mother, deftly spinning long strands of sauce-slick noodles and catching single grains of rice as he tries to achieve the most rudimentary food to mouth without dropping or stabbing until someone takes pity on him and gives him a fork. It’s embarrassing. Unless they’re alone and she does it to him on purpose and they start using their fingers and…well, that’s a whole different matter.

18. He has a secret ritual with Asabi.

Every other Thursday morning, they get up before dawn and wake no one. They wear their pajamas and and go to the all night corner shop and get chocolate bars and fizzy drinks and come back and climb to the roof of the building and picnic while the sun comes up. He brings her mat for her morning prayers, and then they sing a song about the happy sun that blesses the day. It’s in Yiddish, something Bubbe taught him, and she always pronounces it better than he does.

19. He has one with Firyali too.

He had plans to do the same with her on alternate Thursdays, but unlike her sister, she simply put up with it at first and then asked if she could just sleep in. Only two when the mob came for her first home, they already called her dindinbaa, Little Mommy. She loves to fuss over things, to nurture, and he asked her one day when he saw she was watching him whether she’d like to learn how he shines his shoes. So she does one, he does the other, and he always happens to find a sweetie in the bottom of the shoe shine kit after.

20. He has never stopped looking for a way to give Li her legs back.

Everyone in the Department of Mysteries is allowed what is called a passion project beyond their standard assignments. Over the long centuries, they have learned that the amount of mind-numbing research you can put up with increases exponentially when you are also allowed to do something you love. He has been looking for a way to grow her legs back, something that won’t just be a stopgap, a better prosthesis, a magical illusion or simple walking device. It’s not about walking. She has learned to adapt to the chair and her other aides so well that she gets more done in a day than any two women he knows. It’s sure as hell not about desire or love or commitment. It’s about giving her back the dancing. He would do anything not to see her stand again, but to see her dance.

20.  

Ok I can understand wanting more representation for Jewish characters, but how can we mad at JKR for this? She is not using Anthony as an example of how inclusive or representative this series is. Someone literally asked her if there are any Jews at Hogwarts and she gave an example. He was not any sort of attempt at representation, why is everyone acting like that was his purpose or the purpose of that tweet?

6

Morphmaker Presents: Anthony Goldstein - The Only Jew in Hogwarts

I think I just wrote what the kids are calling “Mary Sue FanFiction”…except let’s be honest: I would probably do my homework if it was magic homework. 

The whole thing on Deviantart.

“You can’tbe serious.”

“Dead serious. The WAC lapped it up, called it ‘daring’ and the Ministry thinks it should do you lot a favour in the propaganda department.”

Anthony Goldstein scrunches his nose up, clearly unhappy at the dig being made in his general direction.

“Don’t make me do it.”

“What?”

“Drop a clanger.”

“Really,” Goldstein crosses his arms, “Go on then.”

Terry Boot takes a deep breath in, “You really wouldn’t deprive a fellow ‘claw of the chance to join the hallowed halls of those hailed as geniuses?” he looks up at his friend with eyes opened wide in utmost innocence, “Would you?”

Anthony sighs.

“I’ll even let you make choreography decisions,” Terry adds magnanimously, “Even though you’re pants at dancing and aren’t even very good at playing the piano.”

“Thanks Boot,” Anthony replies, a vaguely uncomfortable feeling of doom settling heavily on him. If they’re lucky there won’t be riots.

Judging by the way his friend appears to have zoned out, no doubt choreographing some elaborate pas de deux in his head, this hasn’t been a consideration.

Anthony sighs again and decides to pin all his hope in the mercy of G-d.


The problem was quite simple. They’d done their job too bloody well and created something intelligent which he could have half a decent conversation with.

If he’d worked for MI7, they’d have probably trained him where to put all his feelings (not on his sleeve, for starters) but instead, he’d fallen head over heels for an artificially intelligent robot he’d more or less created through patience, hard work and sheer bloody willpower. Also some amount of intelligence. After all he’d written the programs and the spells to be used.

Besides the point.

It wasn’t as though he hadn’t had girlfriends. Or boyfriends. Or just partners. So it wasn’t, as Terry insisted, that he didn’t know how to interact with ordinary humans. Or maybe it was. None of his relationships, except possibly the thing he’d had with Padma (but then Padma was one of those extraordinarily brilliant people who, like him, drifted in and out of relationships because ideas were so interesting and relationships required careful planning – which the state of his desk would confirm was something he was not good at) which had ended more or less amicably. Because they were similar, or something, according to Terry and Michael.

Not that he’d created TAL to be just like him, mind. Tal, if anything, required far more care than all of his previous partners put together. No telling when ve’d decide to throw a fit and demand all his attention or conversely, refusing to talk to him at all (and he’d have to figure out why ve was throwing a tantrum in the first place). Sometimes Tal would astound him with vis erudition and vis ability to debate obscure philosophical points but sometimes, ve was almost childlike in vis curiosity – not always for the best – and it all left Anthony feeling rather breathless and confused.

Which, Terry had told him sadly, was all for the best – of all the things he could do, bore of Tal and vis shenanigans was not one of them.

And that, Anthony supposed, was true enough, right down to the mundane bits of relationships that had ordinarily caused him grief in the past. Like kissing, which was like being burnt and frozen all at once and when he thought about it, was a nice tingly sensation that made its way all down his spine, and made Tal’s eyes shine a little too brightly and change colours a bit too fast.

Which only meant he’d have to kiss ver again or else end up with a blinding headache.

The Department had understandably been less than thrilled when he’d refused, point blank, to let them take Tal and “switch it off”. A six-month long legal battle had followed, which the papers had followed with avid interest, with 50 point titles blaring things like “THE ROMEO AND JULIET OF OUR TIME” (wrong. Tal didn’t have a gender and no one was going to die.) He’d won in the end, only because Tal ended up outsmarting the Wizengamot on the finer points of wizarding law.

So Tal moved in with him and decided to study wizarding law and work for the DMLE, which, he supposed Granger would appreciate since it was unlikely that ve would be intimidated by her in the least bit.

It had all worked out much better than he’d thought it would.

Of course, now Terry wanted to do a ballet based on the whole study as “payment for all the times you were a complete and utter arse and stood me up” and also because he fancied himself some kind of musical provocateur-slash-genius.

If his vague knowledge of musical history served him right, every innovative and daring production had inevitably ended in disaster of some sort. Gudrunn had ended with the star of the show being immolated alive with her family. Erinyes and Iasonus had ended in violent riots. Closer to his time, Electra and Orestes had caused such outraged shock (because of its frank discussion of horcrux magic) they’d had to place aurors around Marlowe’s home to keep him from being lynched.

Not, in short, the kind of history that gave him much hope for him or Terry, even if Terry assured him that things were proceeding smashingly.

If he was honest with himself, the idea of seeing someone play him on stage freaked him out. A little.

(A lot.)


“I know what you’re going to say about all the riots and history repeating itself,” Terry waves his fork around wildly, narrowly missing a passing waiter, “But I’ve got it all in hand and besides, this is two-thousand-and-twenty-one, y’know. Progress. Out with the old guard, in with the new.”

“I couldn’t have told,” Anthony replies drily, thinking of his Wizengamot hearing only two years ago.

“Exactly,” says Terry, choosing to ignore the sarcasm in favour of a more optimistic outlook, “There you are. So, do you know how you’re going to choreograph the scene where Tal wakes up and you make eyes at ver?”

Anthony looks down at his plate, “Actually I was thinking I’d let Tal choreograph it.”

“Are you mad?” Terry hisses, “This is art not law. Tal’s a robot. Ve can’t.”

“Tal’s as much of a person as you are, Boot, and probably far more capable,” Anthony replies, mildly, “Definitely far better at it than I am.”

“You’re sure of this?”

“As sure as I am of anything?”

Terry frowns. “It’d make it interesting, at least,” he concedes, then dreamily, “A ballet choreographed in part by artificial intelligence.”

“A crowd-puller,” Anthony murmurs, into his glass of wine, though he doubts Terry’s heard him. He has that dreamy  far-away look on his face again, which means he’s probably devising something impossibly avant-garde.

Anthony redoubles his prayers.

So, you've fallen in love with a minor character.

Don’t worry, over the last four years, I’ve come to recognize this as a hazard of reading “Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness.” Characters like Michael Corner and Terry Boot, once merely obscure trivia answers, are now people you care about, but as you reach the end of the novel, you realize that even if you go out and google their names, the fic you find won’t be about the same two young men you just came to know and love.  Fortunately, there is help: beyond just the central three novels (DAYD, Sluagh, and A Peccatis, all from Neville’s POV), the Daydverse encompasses dozens of other stories, ranging from drabble to novella, all interconnected, co-compliant, and expanding on the characters you first met in DAYD.

To that end, I’m making it a bit easier to have a jumping-off point for more of the most popular characters. If your tastes run a bit more obscure (there are stories from Abercrombie to Zeller), or you are interested in reading Daydverse fic by other authors, go to the comm at http://daydverse.livejournal.com and check out the Master Lists of Fic sorted by Author, Character, and just about everything else short of blood type.  There is also a ton of stuff to be found on the Facebook community (http://facebook.com/groups/DAYDFB) and my Deviantart (http://thanfiction.deviantart.com) as well as searching the #daydverse tag on this blog.  

PLEASE NOTE: The Daydverse deals realistically and often harshly with war and its aftermath. Triggers may be present in any and all stories. Read with caution. Also, please note that the stories listed below may contain spoilers for things in the Daydverse timeline that come after DAYD, as the ‘verse continues through 2013.

I’ve doubled checked that all the adult links work. If any of the others don’t, all of these can be found on my http://fanfiction.net/~thanfiction page.

Anthony Goldstein/Li Su
Crossing Lines
In Trade (with Asabi Goldstein)
Zurat Ha-Hiddah (adult)

Colin Creevey
20 Random Facts About Colin R. Creevey
With Honor
The Miri Factor
Breaking Eggs
Snapshots
Uprising

Ernie Macmillan
20 Random Facts About Ernest I. Macmillan
Only A Year
In So Many Words
Magic (adult)
Maybe Tomorrow (adult)
Miracles

Ginny Weasley
Chosen (w/Neville)
The Hard Choices [with Ron Weasley]
Too Little, Too Late (Neville/Ginny)

Icarus G. Utterson
20 Random Facts About Icarus G. Utterson
Scylla and Charybdis (w/Seamus Finnigan)
Wax Wings

Lavender Brown
20 Random Facts About Lavender Brown
Give and Take (w/ Crabbe & Goyle)
Firewalkers (w/ Seamus)

Michael Corner, Terry Boot
20 Random Facts About Tiresius W. Boot
20 Random Facts About Michael Corner
Benko Gambit
By Consensus (Terry/OC, Michael/Ginny Weasley, adult)
Ducere
Empirical Evidence (Michael/Terry – slash – adult)
En Vulgate (Michael/Padma)
First Impressions
Friendship Eggroll
The Octopus Book
Perils of Studying Outdoors
Praeclarus Merde
Playing it By Ear  (w/Stewart Ackerley)
Revelations
Standing Witness
Voo Ess Jolly

Neville Longbottom
A Room of One’s Own
Chosen (w/Ginny)
Promised
Too Little, Too Late (Neville/Ginny)
Spoils of War (Neville/Hannah, adult)
Wick (Neville/Hannah, adult)

Seamus Finnigan
20 Random Facts About Seamus P. Finnigan
Daybreak
Defensive Maneuvers
Firewalkers

Gra Mathar
Mother Knows [with Kate Finnigan]
Scylla and Charybdis (w/Icaurs Utterson)
Undying Again
Wearing Green (adult)
Wisdom to Know the Difference

Severus Snape
The Messy Bits

Susan Bones
Sheltered

Zacharias Smith
A Real War

anonymous asked:

I do agree that representation is very important, but that doesn't mean that there has to be someone of every race, religion, etc. in every work of fiction. Harry Potter was full of different races. But all because it didn't have a central Jewish character doesn't mean that it's purposely trying to exclude Jews from anything. (Sorry about my English by they way. I hope you understand what I'm saying. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm attacking you.)

We’re not mad for not being included. We’re used to it. We’re mad because we felt tokenized and dismissed. 

Dumbledore’s Army.