You know, we can make fun of it because it was very much a cliched NOOOOOO but my heart broke for Luke then. Because Vader had been toying with him; Luke would have known that much – that Vader was holding back, nudging him, testing him – but not knowing why. He’d assume it was cruelty, like a lothcat pawing at her prey, and this is a very fair assumption to make. Vader oversaw Leia’s torture (the scars the torture droid left are minute, tucked behind her ears and below her collarbone, and she’ll never tell him precisely how it felt; but he has these dreams and when he wakes his head echoes with screams –) Anyway. Vader oversaw Han’s torture as well – they didn’t even ask me questions – and Luke may not have been there in person but you can bet he felt it. Not all of it; but a whisper of fear, a clutch of pain; an image of red, red, red
Go back a bit. Yes, fandom loves to drag Luke for Leia comforting him for the death of his mentor just after her planet exploded into stardust and nothingness (her parents, her friends, her everything); but acknowledging his pain doesn’t diminish hers; and, think about it, he’s just lost the only parents he’s ever known (found their red-stained skeletons, reaching across the sands) and he finds Obi Wan and Obi Wan was the first person in his entire life who seemed to understand him, understand his hunger for life beyond Tattooine’s red sands. And he died too, and Luke watched powerless, and he watched Vader kick at Obi Wan’s empty robes. (Luke wasn’t to know that Anakin couldn’t quite believe that Obi Wan was dead, that he half-expected the robes to come back to life and scold him and –). So: the boy’s been through a lot. And throughout this he’s been thinking of his father. His bold and brave father. His Jedi father. In his dreams, his father looks a little like Obi Wan, a little like Owen, a little like a holo he saw of some senator once – no idea why – and he’s smiling. He says things like Luke I’ll teach you to be a Jedi and shows him how to meditate and teaches him to fight and is never cryptic or strange and speaks like a normal fucking person (angry, are you. you do it on purpose you little alien – just say you are angry –).
He idolizes his father – quite literally. He builds an idol of him and he worships it, because he doesn’t have much left. He’s only twenty.
And then this monster, this terror, this thing that has haunted his nightmares, this thing that has tortured his friends, slaughtered innocents, toyed with him – this thing says I am your father and he’s telling the truth, Luke knows, and in that moment Vader kills his father again, because all those lovely warm daydreams, all those stories he’d used to lull himself back to sleep after waking from another heart-stoppingly terrible dream (about Han dying in a swish of red lightsabre, or Leia howling her pain to the stars, or just the skeletons of two kind people who had raised a child that was not their own) – all those stories are gone. They are gone. His father is gone, and his father is here, and so he screams.
Rather than showing how “weak“ he is he, once again, spells it out to Viktor that he’s actually much stronger than he looks. And that sometimes all he ever really needs from him is to just continue to stand by his side and simply believe that he can be the best without having to say anything.
because some of y'all ugly snape/snily stans are really getting on my nerves, here are some gentle reminders about the overly pompous arse: james potter— boy extraordinaire
• james grows up in a happy family. his childhood is filled with first magic celebrations and awkward tumbles from quidditch practices and it’s an overall, nice kind of picturesque apple pie life
• so when james goes to hogwarts and boards the train it’s not— it’s not anything new. at least not yet.
• it’s not until he finds himself at odds in finding a seat that it really strikes him as a whole new world compared to something that always seemed given to him
• so robes and wand in hand, he swerves past bustling students (damn him and his athletic abilities) and peers into a nearly full compartment
• he knocks lightly (okay, loudly, alright? when has james ever done anything without a thundering finesse) and a boy with straw hair and sullen eyes slides the door open and offers a silent sweep of his hand to an empty space next to a boy with dark grey eyes and a contorted expression of a scowl and a grin. he’s a black: james has seen him in passing when the rare invitation for galas or balls somehow finds its way into the potter house; sirius was his name. sirius orion. james remembers laughing when he first heard about him.
• when their robes are changed and a mousy kid named peter starts talking with more excitement, sirius cracks open a smile and remus chews on a chocolate bar and james realizes that magic isn’t something you take, but something to be given.
• he meets lily
• and it’s like—
• it’s like the world tilts on a dangerous axis and starts spinning off course
• it’s like she’s the centre of everything, and the very thought of her sends him in orbit with brand new fervour
• lily’s the exact moment that james realizes that magic isn’t something to abuse, but something to cherish and hold, and break into parts until it fits into the heart of someone else
• but the thing is.
• the thing is is that she hates him
• so naturally, he hates snape
• and it’s childish and crude, and if anyone asks him in later years, he would say that snape deserved every bit of it
• but in truth, he would recall the quiet and warm voice of remus, snuggled in a fetal position on the gryffindor common room couch, mumbling in the wee hours of dawn
• ‘lily isn't— lily isn’t something you own, you know? she’s like the muse of every artist, but she isn’t some untouchable painting, prongs. she's— she’s human. nothing less, and nothing more. you shouldn’t immortalize her, that’s the same thing as snape’s twisted fantasy of his minuscule chance with her.’
• and james had blinked over the glaring light of his horrid glasses and paused into nothingness— too quiet, that remus had lifted his head to check if he was still breathing
• and then he had laughed and said, ‘do you have a crush on her or something? is she you’re mate? is that even a thing??’
• the ‘fuck off, prongs.’ wasn’t missed to james’ ears
• skip through time a little and he stops obsessing. he doesn’t steal obscene plants from the greenhouse to present to her, and he stops paying the ghosts to sing renditions of elvis songs in the middle of the great hall
• and it’s not until sixth year that lily starts to notice
• so the first date goes along smoothly, and the first hand hold is without any sweaty palms, and the first hug is comfortable enough
• but the first kiss is absolutely awful
• there’s fumbling and teeth against teeth and it’s all very trial and error
• and then lily tilts her head back; all soft eyes, and bright hair, and golden mind, and james can see the glow of fire around her in the setting sun
• 'it’s okay, james.’ she says. 'we’re okay.’ and she slowly leans in again, and meets her mouth against his and she tastes like home. warm, and pliant, and pure happiness.
• when they go into hiding years later, james still visibly sags with relief every time he hears the familiar coo of harry’s giggle, and the everlasting wonder of lily’s sighs of content
• and when voldemort leaves his body cold and empty, he remembers the taste of her lips against his.