This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong. I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind. Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase. It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know… But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, Nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, That settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie. Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice …” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away. Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back.
A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.
Douglas Adams, well known for writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy shares a very British story
Can you imagine a tiny Romanian Svlad Cjelli learning that he’s going to be moving to somewhere called England very soon, so he devours all of the Enid Blyton books because they’re some of the few English-language books that his local library stocks.
And can you imagine still-tiny, avowed Anglophile Svlad Cjelli hearing that he’s going to be going somewhere called Blackwing with a lot of other special children like him, and he assumes that it’s going to be a boarding school like in St. Clare’s and Mallory Towers where he’s going to be solving mysteries and having delicious midnight feasts with his macap new friends in gorgeous ramshackled old houses.
And can you imagine his crushing disappointment when he discovers that he’s never going to be elected School Monitor, there’s no all-school lacrosse games, and no-one seems interested in sneaking out at midnight for lashings of ginger pop.
“Like "My Sweet Lord,” “Hear Me Lord,” and “Your Love Is Forever,” this painstakingly created ballad comes to the heart of George Harrison’s musical life. It explores the same ground as Bob Dylan’s pivotal “Every Grain of Sand,” also released in 1981 on Shot of Love.
Harrison’s piece is a love song to his God, a concept hardly likely to endear him to critics, who were wont to liken these songs to musical chloroform. But there is a touching simplicity of expression here, as the superstar again adopts a childlike stance to express his feelings. Unlike with Dylan, there is no narrative exposition of a spiritual journey. “Life Itself” is the work of a man who has arrived at his destination. Harrison is not ‘hanging in the balance of the reality of man’ - he’s making an offering.
It is the offering of a man who lavished all he knew on the song, starting with a demo version that itself represented many hours’ effort. This private work features four guitar tracks, three backup vocals, and a little ukulele. George introduces a new, clean-and-clear electric guitar sound to the song, picking out the melody as an acoustic David Bromberg would. This is supplemented by two slide guitars and Harrison’s vocal, which give collective exposition to a simple refrain, similar in construction to “Don’t Let Me Down.”
The first completed version appeared on the original Somewhere in England,with an added rhythm section, while the final version installed the finishing touch - gospel Hammond organ, similar to “Sing One for the Lord,” with the George O'Hara Smith singers returning to provide sweeping, multilayered backup vocals. This, combined with George’s guitar choir, represents his attempt to convey his spiritual vision in music. Such meticulous craftsmanship typifies George Harrison’s best art. Although the song is lyrically naive compared with the sheer poetry of “Every Grain of Sand,” George reaches the same depth of expression in his music. His poetry is contained within the elegance of his guitar idiom, coupled with the finely etched span of the vocal chorus.
Inevitably, the critics hated “Life Itself.” The man could surely have expected nothing else in 1981 - what place did the music of belief have in a new age of reason, economic utilitarianism, and cultural iconoclasm? His problem was that his belief system was not born from the fads of the 1960s; it had deeper roots and was something he maintained until the end of his life. Even if the zeitgeist of the day had changed, he was unable to change his core values.“
- Simon Leng, While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison
A/N: So this takes place at the same time when Harry Potter is there, and they’re both first years in the same year as Harry.
Genre: Fluff, friends to lovers (most likely)
Word Count: 1377
Dan opened his eyes in a brand new world. He was still in the train station, but the vision of the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 ¾ introduced Dan to this new reality. He was a pureblood, so he’d been waiting all his life for this moment. Sprinting through the entrance to the platform, he was finally there.
The goodbye hugs were emotional, and Dan was full of a mix of excitement and fear as he hugged his little sister Louise goodbye. “Just think, Louise. Two years from now, you’ll be heading to Hogwarts with me.”
She smiled at him. “Have fun, Dan.”
Dan smiled back and walked off through the crowd. He was numb with this fear-excitement mix he couldn’t put a word to as he boarded the train and found a compartment and put his luggage away. Settling down in the empty compartment, he fell into his deep thoughts.
Dan’s worries consumed his thoughts, reminding him of how different everything would be now. Although he was from a wizard family, he never really got to be friends with anyone, and he was horrifically afraid that he wouldn’t have any friends at Hogwarts. Especially after he got sorted into Slytherin. Dan’s entire family had been in Slytherin, and Dan knew he would be too.
Dan himself didn’t have a problem with Slytherin. Despite its bad reputation, he knew not everyone in Slytherin was evil. However, the kids in the other houses thought that, and he knew they wouldn’t like him because of his house. And, in all honesty, the stereotype wasn’t that far off. The likely Slytherins Dan knew weren’t going to be very nice to him, and he knew it.
Especially Draco. Dan knew of Draco, as his father was very famous. He never liked the family, as they all seemed so stuck up and evil. Of course, with this trait, they were all Slytherins and he knew Draco would be too. With them being in the same year, Dan wasn’t looking forward to having all his classes with Draco. He could only hope he’d find refuge in someone else.
Dan’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the compartment door opening. “Can I sit with you?” Dan looked up to see a black-haired boy with a smile on his face and a bigger smile in his eyes. He had such kind eyes. Dan could already tell he would be a Hufflepuff.
“Sure. You a first year?” The boy nodded. “Me too. My name is Dan.” He extended a hand to the boy.
“Phil,” he said, shaking Dan’s hand. “So you’re just as new to this ‘wizard’ thing as I am?”
“Well, I actually come from a wizard family, so I’ve been waiting my whole life to go to Hogwarts. I don’t know any magic though. My parents wouldn’t teach me. They wanted me to wait until I got to Hogwarts.”
“Well, I’m glad we’re on the same level. Tell me about wizard life.”
“There’s this sport called Quiddich-”
“Sports have never really been my thing. Tell me about Hogwarts. Tell me about you.” Dan blushed at the last remark, beginning to speak of what they’d both encounter upon arriving at Hogwarts. He’d tell Phil about his life along the way. Dan could tell. He wouldn’t even have to try.
“Slytherin sounds like a pretty bad place.”
Dan stuttered. “Well… That’s really just the stereotype. A lot of good people have gone to Slytherin. My entire family’s been in Slytherin, and I probably will be too. It’s not necessarily a bad thing… Although most Slytherins aren’t exactly the nicest people you’ll ever meet. But I’m not mean, am I?”
“No. You’re actually the only one here who’s welcomed me.”
“Well, I don’t really have friends here either. Nice to have at least one.”
“What house do you think I’ll be in?”
“Hufflepuff.” Dan didn’t even hesitate. “You just seem so kind-hearted. You’ll definitely be put in Hufflepuff.”
“That’s nice of you. But I almost wish I’d be in Slytherin, just so I could be with you.”
Dan blushed. “Well, the Sorting Hat’s never taken anyone’s wishes into effect… At least not yet.”
“A chocolate frog?”
Dan chuckled. “Two chocolate frogs and a carton of Every Flavor Beans, please.”
“Sure, love.” The trolley witch handed Dan the treats and rolled on, closing the compartment door. Dan tossed a chocolate frog into Phil’s lap.
“Try one, they’re really good. They’re frogs made of chocolate.” Phil started peeling open the wrapper and grasped the chocolate. “Oh, and they-” Dan was cut off abruptly by Phil’s shriek as the frog escaped his grip and began hopping around the compartment. Dan sighed “…Move.”
Phil finally caught the frog and took a bite. “Mmm. Stubborn, but good.” After devouring the frog, Phil spoke again. “What else moves in this universe?”
Dan paused before answering, unsure of what exactly to say. “…A lot.” He picked up his carton of every flavor beans, opening it up. “Do you want to try one?”
Phil glared suspiciously at the carton. “What are they? I’ve lost all trust for your magic sweets.”
“Every Flavor Beans. I’ll admit it, these are horrific if you get the wrong flavor. Here’s a blue one. I’m not sure how you can go wrong with blue.” Dan handed Phil a light blue jellybean, and he frowned at it as if he was making a difficult decision, then popped it in his mouth. After a few seconds, he grinned.
“I’ll try a dangerous one,” Dan said, pulling out a tannish-yellowish one.
“Ew. I don’t know how you can go right with that.”
“Neither do I, but I might as well give you some entertainment.” Dan popped the jellybean in his mouth and winced. “Ew! I think that’s earwax.” His face scrunched up as he stuck his tongue out. Through his squinted eyes, he could see Phil hunched over laughing. Phil had such a soft, innocent, truly happy laugh.
“Who the hell is that?” Phil asked as Draco passed by with his goonies, already wearing his robes. Dan had no clue where they were going, nor did he want to.
“That’s Draco Malfoy. Remember how I was saying there were a lot of bad Slytherins? Well, there’s one.”
“Oh.” Phil looked concerned.
“His entire family is Slytherin, just like mine. Except he’s rich and, in all honesty, pretty evil. I don’t tend to talk to him because he’s just not that nice. He’s in our year though, so I’ll probably have to get used to him. His dad probably follows Voldemort, and I’m not even kidding. That’s a legitimate theory, and knowing him, I don’t doubt it.”
Dan’s face went red as he remembered how little Phil really knew about the wizarding world. “Well, Voldemort is a really evil wizard. People rarely speak his name. They just call him “He Who Must Not Be Named” or “You Know Who”. His followers call him the Dark Lord. He killed a lot of people. But there’s this kid named Harry Potter. He’s in our year. Voldemort tried to kill him, but he couldn’t. The spell bounced back and hit him. He’s supposed to be dead, but I don’t know if he had enough of a soul left to kill. He’s probably sulking around the forests of England somewhere. Draco’s dad… He followed Voldemort when he was reigning terror, and then said he was under mind control when he had his downfall. I don’t believe it, but the Ministry of Magic apparently does.”
“Wow. Voldemort sounds horrible. But, might I ask, why do you say his name if nobody else does?”
“I don’t see why I shouldn’t. It’s that Hitler guy we learned about in muggle school. He committed atrocities just like Voldemort did, but we still say his name. It’s not like saying the name will summon him from the dead or anything. I don’t see what there is to be afraid of.”
“I like that. You seem fearless. Maybe you’ll be in Griffindor.” Dan just laughed. He would be a Slytherin. He’d already accepted this. But he suddenly didn’t worry about it keeping him from making friends. He already had one friend, and something told him he wouldn’t be letting go of this one.
Hey, could you please do an imagine where you were a nurse during the war and became really close with Alfie, like he got injured and you had to take care of him. Once the war was all over, he tracks you down because he cannot stop thinking about you. Love your blog and writing!! :)
Promises - Alfie Solomons
His return to Camden Town after the war had not been easy. Settling back into the life that he’d had before the war proved difficult. His bakery was still intact and his workers still loyal but they had few clients and the fear that Alfie instilled before seemed to have disappeared around the same time he did four years ago. But he worked tirelessly to rebuild what was lost and to gain even more respect than when he left. All that time spent on the bakery kept Alfie distracted from the only good thing he had brought with him from France. The memory of a young woman, an English nurse in the hospital in Paris, plagued him as equally as his memories of the front lines did. You came and went in his sleep, a face and a name he seemed unable to put behind him.
George Harrison - “All Those Years Ago” - Somewhere in England
The “All Those Years Ago” single (its B-side was “Writing’s On The Wall”) was released in the UK on 15 May 1981.
Q: “Did you start writing ‘All Those Years Ago’ before John was killed?”
George Harrison: “Yeah, I did.”
Q: “The lyric - where you jump from Lennon being ‘weird’ to God and the reason we exist - always puzzled me.”
GH: “It is a strange choice of words. The way I saw it was, I’m talking all
about God and he’s the only reason we exist - now that’s something I
believe to be true.”
Q: “Were you saying you were weirder than John?”
GH: “No, no, no. What I was saying is there’s all these weird people who
don’t actually believe in God and who go around murdering everybody, and
yet, in the broad sweep, it’s like they were the ones pointing fingers
at Lennon, saying he’s a weirdo. Sometimes my lyrics get a bit abstract
in place - I get so many thoughts coming from different angles, I’m not
sure if they come across right. But I think that’s what I was trying to
Hello studyblr community! I’m Grace, a first-year college student somewhere in New England. I’m a microbiology major, with dual concentrations both in integrated science and biotechnology. I’m also working in a lab doing research on honeybee viruses! I could talk about my work all day, so if anyone wants to learn more, send me a message!
A few more things about me:
I applied to college as an English major- then decided that microbio was my real passion. My advice to anyone trying to choose a major- it’s okay to change your mind! Nothing is permanent!
I’m a T.A. for a senior microbiology lab. Since I’m a freshman, this gets interesting.
My goal is to get a PhD so I can do my own research one day!
Being a college professor would be SUPER cool as well.
I’m left handed.
I also love doing scratch work on whiteboards…. figure out my dilemma…
I was a high-level competitive cheerleader for ten years.
If I’m not in the lab, you can probably find me at the local rock climbing gym.
Sunflowers are my favorite flower.
I’m in the process of getting rid of a lot of my things and going for a minimalist lifestyle.
@bookhobbit I saw your post about the use of formal/informal language in Lord of the Rings and while I didn’t want to derail the OP or make it too long with an addition, here’s something you might find interesting.
So, in the Appendixes (or were it separate letters? I need my copy…) Tolkien specifically instructs translators whose language distinguises between formal and informal pronouns on how to use them.
According to him, Hobbits in the Shire are supposed to basically all use informal pronouns, while Gondorians, being more formal in general, use formal ones - when appropriate.
Now, all this you probably knew, and now I’m getting to my point.
Thing is, the Hungarian translation goes directly against these instructions. It’s a very calculated move, made by a competent translator, and the reason is that formal pronouns in Hungarian just don’t sound suitably achaic.
In Hungarian, up untill the 16th-17th century only informal pronouns were used, so any text that incudes them sounds automatically way too modern for the quasi-Medieval stasis most of Middle Earth is in.
All of it, except for the Shire, which is more like pre-industrial, rural England somewhere in the late 18th, early 19th century, so it’s reasonable for characters to use formal pronouns.
In light of this it’s probably worth noting that Frodo, while he’s formal with people like Farmer Maggot, Mr. Butterbeer and the like, uses informal speech with Gandalf, and despite the class difference Sam also goes informal with Frodo.
Hello~ could you write a newt x metamorphmagus!reader? They met each other at school than meeting again when newt follows after an animal that he’s been trying to study and follows it to her home where other animals are staying. - Anon
Blah blah blah might have a rushed ending oh well
You were a metamorphmagi, such as your father. Being one really helped you excel in your Care of Magical Creatures class at Hogwarts. Once you had to do a project with a partner, and you were assigned to Newt Scamander. He loved to watch you use your skills and turn into any creature you wanted. Eventually you became very good friends, to the point where you would take Newt into the forest and use your skills to transform into a creature to interact with others so that Newt could approach and observe the other creatures with ease. You also helped him get his Transfiguration grade back up when it started to fall.
You and Newt remained friends all throughout school, even when Leta Lestrange came into the picture. But when Leta managed to get Newt, your best friend and mini-crush expelled, you hated her with a passion. You met Newt at the front of the castle before he was about to depart in tears. Newt showed no emotion until you threw your arms around his neck and pulling him close, not wanting him to leave in the slightest. As soon as you did that, Newt broke down. Right before Newt got onto the train you made him promise he would write to you often. Only…
He never did.
**Flash forward to now**
It’s been three years since you graduated Hogwarts. You were currently living alone in a nice, small house in the middle of a secluded forest somewhere in England. You were surrounded by creatures. Some made homes in your garden, while others decided to nest in the corners of your house if you would allow them. There weren’t exactly any people nearby, so your only company was your creatures (I mean, you’re basically half-human half-animal. But mostly human).
Mooncalves were abundant in the woods you lived in, and you loved them all.
There were still some days that you thought about Newt. The sweet, shy, adorable, handsome, charming, sexy… Merlin, you need help. But everyday you remember how he didn’t keep your promise and never ever wrote to you. That sadness still hung with you to this day, but you were mostly busy with other things so it didn’t cross your mind that often.
Newt Scamander was trying to come across a mooncalf to study for his upcoming book for the British Ministry of Magic. He was searching through a somewhat-large forest on the edge of England when he finally found one.
Now, he didn’t want to frighten the poor thing, but he also wanted to find out where they lived. So Newt was completely silent as he followed the creature, only stopping when his boots accidentally snapped a twig or got caught in a tangle of tree roots by mistake when he wasn’t paying attention. Eventually the mooncalf lead him to a house. A house? That was strange. But when Newt looked around, he realized this was far more than just an ordinary house. There were different creatures all over the place. From billywigs and bowtruckles to fwoopers and hippogriffs. They all seemed to have their own little habitat around the house, the smaller insect-like creatures specifically in the large garden.
Newt was very curious and fascinated by all this, so he was going to approach the front door (which was almost completely hidden by plants) but before he could do so, you stepped out of the door holding baskets that had to be full of animal feed. You stopped what you were doing when you saw a man standing at the front of your house. He noticed you, too. You set down the baskets you were holding, and began to walk over to him.
“Hello?” you said.
“Oh–hi–is this… your house?” the man replied as you got closer.
“Yes–” you began as you approached him, but then you got a good look at him. “Newt…?”
He knit his eyebrows and observed you. “Y/N?” he said cheerfully. “Merlin’s beard, it is you!” he exclaimed and hugged you.
“Yes, it’s me. Why are you so happy to see me? You never wrote to me after the… incident… even though you promised me you would. I missed you, Newt.”
He frowned and his eyes got big. “Y/N! I wasn’t trying to avoid you in the slightest! After I got expelled and I went home… my parents took everything from me. They told me I couldn’t write to anyone for the rest of the year, took my quills and ink and owl… and so on. I told them I needed to write to a girl at school, but they wouldn’t have it. Please, Y/N, I missed you too. A lot. You were my only friend… especially after what she did.”
“Newt… why didn’t you talk to me after I had graduated?”
“Because I thought you hated me for not writing to you. That you hadn’t forgotten me and moved on,” Newt said sounding truly sad.
“I would never forget you, Newt. I’m just glad your back,” you said forgivingly and pulled him in for another hug. Once you pulled away, you looked at him oddly. “Hey, what were you doing in these woods anyway?”
“Oh, I’m writing a book for the Ministry about magical creatures. About why we should be protecting these creatures instead of killing them. I needed some information on mooncalves, so I found one and followed it here,” Newt answered.
“I could turn into a mooncalf if you want.”
“Good. Would you like a tour of the place? All sorts of creatures live here, it’s Newt heaven.”
“I would love that very much.”
Please let me know what you thought of it and what I could do better next time!