Out-of-Mind-Out-of-Sight

This was a really interesting episode for the whole Ray, Felicity, Oliver triangle. There are a few things that were horribly problematic (like the fact that we glossed over Ray probably seriously injuring Roy, apparently it was an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing, because Felicity should have called his ass on the carpet for that and I’m not forgetting it) that for the purposes of this meta, I’m just not going there with how frustrated I am that certain people didn’t get a taking to (Inhale, exhale.)

The really big thing that I want to focus on Is again, Ray’s compatibility with Felicity. I’ve discussed this issue in depth  before  but now we are dealing with Ray and Felicity’s first big argument. And again, I believe that  Ray got a lot of credit where it wasn’t due. This was all about trusting Felicity, her judgement, her beliefs, her skills and Ray just again sort of dismissed Felicity out of hand because of jealousy and his ideas about her loyalty. He told Oliver that she was obviously wrong about him because of her feelings for him when it was more like the reverse.

Despite the fact that she’s known Oliver longer Ray assumed because of Oliver’s time on the island, of course he knew better than Felicity what Oliver was capable of.  (He also doubts Laurel’s opinion of Oliver as well, hypocritically because she’s a vigilante, but that’s neither here nor there.) In the end, though he realized he was wrong and that’s really what matters, right? Actually, that’s exactly the problem.  Despite what he said in the end about trusting Felicity, the fact is, he didn’t and technically still doesn’t. It wasn’t her judgement he was trusting when he decided to stop going after Oliver, it was Oliver’s actions – not killing him when he had ample opportunity to do do so. Once again, Oliver trusted her judgement but Ray did not. Some would say that Oliver didn’t trust her either but let’s look at the sequence of events because he disagreed with her about Ray’s appropriateness in her life..

Ray confronts Felicity about Oliver and she explains that Oliver is no longer a killer. After speaking to both Felicity and Oliver and expressing the idea that Felicity’s emotions are clouding her judgement, Ray takes multiple steps to see that Oliver is arrested or apprehended.

Oliver confronts Ray, then confronts Felicity and after expressing the idea that Ray is too “untrained and unstable” just like him and their relationship will never work, Oliver takes steps that will help Ray resolve his issues with Felicity because Felicity chose Palmer.

Both of them had discussions with Felicity and both of them disagreed, but only Oliver took proactive steps to trust Felicity’s point of view. Oliver could have injured Ray more severely (using an arrow to the leg instead of a fletchette) proving his point that he’s too untrained or he could have told Ray that he didn’t deserve Felicity and he should stay away from her, instead he told him to just be with her and trust her judgement. That’s showing true faith in Felicity and her agency despite their differing idea and only Oliver actually takes that trusting action in this episode. (Some would say Oliver didn’t trust her agency because he says he can’t believe he can be in a relationship with her but that’s about how Oliver deals with being a vigilante - thinking he loses his focus, rather than Felicity being in danger)

Another thing I want to point out is the fact that despite saying he wanted a true partner in everything, Ray’s actions speak a different story. Not only did her not believe her about Oliver, consequently not trusting her judgement in the field, but he didn’t tell Felicity he got the suit working despite the fact that it’s been functional for at least two weeks and it happened with they culminated their relationship. Ray’s expressed the idea that he wants a partner in his life and his mission, but he obviously isn’t sharing pertinent details with someone he says he trusts completely.

@mylunarsolstice​ expressed the idea that Oliver would confront Felicity about the issue with Ray’s trust and although he confronts Ray, (Oliver did confront someone about the issue, it just wasn’t Felicity, and that made her more right than I was)  I still believe that this is going to be an underlying issue with Ray and Felicity, because despite what he says, his action tell a different story. I really don’t think that the issue of Ray having faith in Felicity and her skills has been laid to rest quite yet. Ray is always going to know that he didn’t trust Felicity and he was wrong and Felicity is always going to know that it took proof for her to believe him and that kind of thing doesn’t go away easily. The foundation that Ray and Felicity are building already has a deep crack and this isn’t the first time (it’s is actually the fifth?) that Ray hasn’t just trusted Felicity and I think that’s going to be a hard habit to stop.

49. day at the beach || Remus Lupin

Emmeline couldn’t believe that no one had noticed. She glanced down at the furry, four-legged creature walking by her side and tried to hide the fact that the sight of it made her want to crawl out of her skin. She had always managed to put the knowledge that Remus Lupin was a werewolf out of her mind when she interacted with the fellow on Order business; perhaps it hummed in the background there warning her, cautioning her, unnerving her—but she pushed it aside. Remus was a decent person, a smart person, even kind (kinder than her anyway) and it was not and had never been his fault

But Emmeline could never entirely shake-off the knowledge that once a month, he turned into a monster. It always lurked there in the back of her mind, waiting for something to remind her. Mostly things didn’t; Remus didn’t act anything like what she had been told to expect from a werewolf, which made it easy to tromp-down her own prejudices against creatures—against people—like him. It always struck her with a jolt whenever the matter of his Curse came up, whether in plotting logistics for the Order or in the jokes his friends (what was wrong with them?) liked to make about his “furry little problem.” Each reminder was a surprise, an unpleasant one—and then she pushed the knowledge away again, forced herself to forget for the sake of her own peace of mind.

Tonight, though…tonight she had him on a leash. She couldn’t ignore what Remus Lupin turned into under the full moon, because that’s what he was: a werewolf. From the tip of his snout to the fluffy end of his tufted tail, he was utterly and entirely a werewolf—a monster. Emmeline reminded herself (for at least the hundredth time) that he wasn’t a proper werewolf right now; his furred form was currently a prison for the mind of the man within, his humanity secured despite his Curse through the liberal use of potions.

And now he was pretending to be a dog, and she was pretending to take him for a late-evening walk on the beach. It was absurd—but there wasn’t much choice. They needed a canine’s nose for this, and they couldn’t just have one of their number attempt a Transfiguration because it would have taken anyone else too long to get used to treating scent as a sense that mattered. No one else could track something by its smell the way Remus Lupin could, at least on a night like this. Why Dumbledore thought it was so crucial that they find this one particular body Emmeline had no idea, but she had rarely seen her former headmaster so tense so she’d swallowed her objections and agreed to the mission. Even though it meant walking next to a werewolf.

She tried not to shudder. When they passed any of the Muggles currently sharing their moonlit sand-stroll (fortunately there weren’t many) Emmeline forced a cheerful smile and a wave but the moment they passed out of sight she lost the battle to keep a cheerful, relaxed expression on her face; she could practically hear herself tense and knew there was no way that Remus hadn’t noticed, too. That made her feel guilty, but what was she supposed to do? He was a werewolf! The mere fact that she hadn’t run away screaming ought to be more than enough to do her credit—

But Emmeline knew it wasn’t. Feeling that she owed him an apology of some sort but not knowing how to phrase the words “I’m sorry” into something that wouldn’t be even more offensive, she instead said, “So, is this your first time on a leash, then, Mr. Lupin?” A wince; what a stupid thing to say. “Forget I asked that,” Emmeline said quickly, “It sounded funnier in my head. Hey, here’s a question though: all this sand. There must be pounds of it in your hai—fur by now. Will all that just drop-off when you transform, or will you wake up covered in sand and—er—not much else?” A frown this time; that wasn’t much better. And it wasn’t like he could answer her, was it? “Sorry,” she said, “I forgot—rhetorical statements only from now on. Promise.”

A moment later though—”What the hell is that?”

It looked like a boat but it wasn’t on the water; in fact it had wheels. Emmeline stared, her jaw slack and her feet motionless. Was that a Muggle sailing on the sand? There was definitely someone in the boat—or whatever it was; it was built like a boat, right down to the colorful sail, but large wheels protruded from the front and sides as it thumped toward them across the pale sand. The driver (or sailor?) waved cheerfully as the thing drove past; Emmeline raised her own hand slowly in response, but muttered, “What the hell?” again as it moved down the beach away from them.

Remus couldn’t answer her of course, although he did give a small “yip”—Whatever that’s supposed to mean, Emmeline thought wryly. Werewolf or not, this was definitely the most well-behaved dog she’d ever had to deal with. He didn’t even try to chase the odd contraption—although a moment later he almost yanked her arm from her socket. He did pull her off her feet, the handle of the leash flying from her hands as she sprawled face-first into the sand.

Emmeline pulled herself up, gagging and spitting the coarse, salty grains from her mouth. She brushed her face clear and opened her eyes, scowling; Remus, looking as meek as a wolf that large could possibly look, sat a few feet in front of her, looking back over his shoulder. His tail and ears both drooped. Werewolf or not, Emmeline couldn’t help but smile at him, even as she struggled to shake herself off—feeling much like a dog herself for a moment.

She climbed to her feet and picked up the leash again. “I hope you had a good reason for that,” she scolded her lycanthropic partner. He set off at a trot across the sand; Emmeline had to jog to keep up. When he turned from the cold surf toward a small path up the nearby cliff, Emmeline’s heartbeat sped up; had they found their quarry? A few minutes later she had her answer and Remus was alternating between growls and whimpers as he pawed at the sodden, black-robed body. Emmeline shushed him absently and bent down next to the corpse, steeling herself until she could pull the silvery mask off with her fingertips (a little impressed despite herself that it had stayed in place through the fight, the waves, and finally the slow and doubtless agonizing crawl up the shore; the Death Eaters used good spells on those things).

“That’s him all right,” she said, her voice a bit hollow. That was the reason why she had been chosen for this mission: out of all the Order members not currently convalescing from their latest tussle, Emmeline Vance had been the one most familiar with the elderly patriarch of the Nott family. They had needed Remus’s nose to find him and Emmeline’s social history to identify him. (If Sirius hadn’t been recovering from a particularly nasty Curse of Dolohov’s, he could have gone with his friend—but no, it had fallen on Emmeline’s shoulders as their token representative of the “old families” to walk the werewolf) Now that Nott had been found and identified—and quite positively confirmed to be without question dead—there was only one thing left to do before the two of them could return to the Order and to Dumbledore, and Emmeline could go back to her usual policy of ignoring Remus Lupin’s Curse as best she could.

She looked at the werewolf next to her. “I suppose this is the point where you’re going to tell me that because you’ve got paws right now instead of opposable thumbs, I get to frisk the body, isn’t it?” She didn’t wait for an answer—although Remus did wuff quietly—but, wrinkling her nose, started rifling through the dead man’s pockets. She tried to forget about all the times that he had scolded her and her friends for making too much noise, for behaving like crass and common half-bloods, for wearing inappropriate robes and making inappropriate friends; she tried to forget the time he had taught her how to pavane, and the time he had played the harpsichord so she and Even Rosier could practice the steps to the new waltz they’d been trying to master; tried to forget the way that he forgot not to smile at people when he drank too much Ogden’s.

“Aha!” Emmeline exclaimed, her pensive reverie broken by success. “Found it.” She grinned at Remus (her skin barely crawling, although she couldn’t quite pull her eyes away from his horrible white fangs) and held up a soggy, leather-bound book. It was much the worse for its time underwater, and the ocean hadn’t quite managed to wash all the blood off or it, but she didn’t have to restore this tome to reading-order; that was Dumbledore’s task, and he was welcome to it. Emmeline had done enough work for one night and if the enigmatic leader of the Order of the Phoenix didn’t want to explain why this crumbling book was so important, he could just fix it himself, she thought.

Bracing herself to pick up the leash again, Emmeline managed a smile for the werewolf. “Good work, doggie,” she drawled. “Now let’s get the hell out of here.” Together they walked back down the beach toward Porthcurno where their small escort was waiting—firstly in case they ran into trouble but, failing that, simply to help with the tricky job of Apparating with a werewolf. Emmeline would let somebody else handle that part of the job too. Maybe Remus in his monstrous form wasn’t as bad as she’d feared, but she’d still spent more than enough time in close company with the beast that held her comrade trapped inside its furry skin and she wanted no more to do with him until the sun rose.

Emmeline smirked and decided that she would let someone else comb out all that sand from his fur, too.

8

"The first day of kindergarten you cried ‘cause you broke the yellow crayon and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You’ve come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion… but the thing is, yeah. I love you. I love crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow."