also they were giving me grief

Man, I was so ready to watch Castlevania and cringe at yet another wild reinterpretation of Dracula, but erm

it happened in the right part of the country?

Lisa is from an actual real village?

there was a bit of traditional Romanian architecture?

and they kept (and did a pretty good job with) the names of the cities in Wallachia?

also. “I could pee in a bucket and tell him it’s beer” and “God shits in my dinner once again” are such brands of Romanian vulgarity and humour, oh man, I laughed so hard

Basically this was a series where I could actually look and see tidbits of my country on screen and that made me so happy omfg (I honestly don’t give a shit about historical inaccuracies in this one, I loved it so much)

(Ţepeş and Lisa were emotional manipulation at its finest, I wanted to cry and bitch, I already have an otp where a vampire goes mad with grief and commits genocide following their spouse’s death, I don’t need another one)

Our Kind Of Love (Part 10/12)

By: ProMarvelFanGirl

Pairing: Steve x Plus Size!Reader

Summary:  You and Steve have a special kind of love.   One that many may not understand.  After all what would a super soldier who looked like that, want with a girl who looked like you?

A/n: Saw This post and was inspired!  If you would like to be tagged please let me know!  

OKOL Masterlist

a wipe my tears away kind of love.

You wake up in Steve’s arms, having eventually made your way to the bedroom.  Your head was on his chest, your arms around him.  Your mind hadn’t turned off really at all, you tossed and turned until Steve finally locked both his arms around you, trapping you against him.

You feel Steve’s arms loosen and know he is awake.  He presses a kiss against your head then your cheek then your lips.  You give him a sad smile, but make no move to get up.  He presses his face into your neck and you feel his lips graze your skin. “Let’s stay in bed all day.”

He lifts his head, you never want to stay in bed, you were usually up and getting stuff done by eight in the morning at the latest.  Steve looks you over, he knew that this had something to do with Charlie.  He also knew that he couldn’t let you wallow in your grief.

“You remember that day me and Charlie were in his room and talked? He told me about a few things and he, Charlie was a great man, he loved you like a granddaughter.   Charlie and Betty didn’t have any kids, Betty couldn’t-.  He left us both somethin.”  Steve held you tightly as he spoke knowing this was going to be hard for you.

Keep reading

One year ago on August 19th, my world ended. The sun around which I revolved was suddenly extinguished far too soon. I find it incredibly fitting that so close to the anniversary of her death, the actual sun will also be darkened, and over the state where she spent her last happy days. Seems the universe is acknowledging how amazing and important she was.

This year has passed too quickly and too slowly. It hurts because each passing day takes me farther from the times spent with her. It helps because each passing day makes the grief a tiny fraction more bearable. Some days the grief roars up in giant inferno, some days it is a quiet little flicker, but it is always there.

Solstice, you were the best dog to ever happen to me. I would give anything to have you back. Living without you is still so hard, but I’m trying.

Uncharted au

ok so I watched @midnigtartist stream and I wrote a drabble so here ya go

Alex wished it happened like in the movies. He wished that time froze, giving him time to figure the situation out. But it didn’t. Instead, he faced a million fears, an entire flashback, all in one second. He remembered all the times he and James would play as children, grabbing each other and play wrestling. He also remembers his mother, although only faintly, and remembers her fading, just like James was going to if he didn’t do something. Now here they were, James hanging on for dear life with a bullet in his back.

“Just leave,” James said, grip beginning to loosen, “you can’t make it with me.”

Alex just tightened his grip. “No, James, I can’t make it without you, please. Here give me your other hand. I’ll pull you up.”

“I’m sorry Alex, I can’t.” James let go, leaving Alex empty handed and frozen with grief.

But time doesn’t freeze like in the movies, so the second it happened, Alex was being pulled away by Burr, guns still firing close behind.

“We have to go back, he’s down there, he can’t be dead, I can’t lose him.” Alex fought to stay near the edge of the building, looking for any sign of movement from James.

“Hamilton, we don’t have time,” Burr said, pulling him along, “look, Alex, he’s gone. We have to go now. Either you come with me or you end up like him.”

Alex stopped for a moment to stare before running after Burr. He had to make it out of this alive, had to finish the mission, had to see Thomas again. He couldn’t seem to let himself die.

A/N: sorry for any typos, love you Aimee!

Today in RK World

I haven’t done an update in RK World for awhile but just had to chime in.  I don’t get into the WHERE is Rob and Kristen game near the way I used to. They are busy actors and models and they flit from hither and yon often enough but almost always land back in LA together for fairly long stretches of time.

Though this post is not exclusively about today but about my observations since Cannes…and don’t worry we will end with today…

Since Cannes it’s been interesting, hasn’t it?

Keep reading

The Only One 3

Summary: You were in love with this guy and in college you could’ve made it work but you had to go home and now 6 years later it might be too late to be with the only man you ever truly loved. Modern Day AU

Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader

Word Count: 1413

A/N: Because i hit my next 100 followers here we go

Part 2

Keep reading

Why Are You Bashing People Who Can’t Speak Their Heritage Language?

I’m sorry. Wait… Forget that. I’m not sorry.

I’m not sorry that I don’t know something I was never taught.

It’s funny, people seem to think that fluency in a language runs in the family as surely as blood. But in the same way that adoption is now a thing, that’s not always true you see. Because even though my mother and father were both born in Haiti and are native Haitian Creole speakers, I’m not.

How’s that possible?

Because my parents were fully fluent in English, the dominant language of the country I was born and raised in, by the time I was born. And ever since I’ve been surrounded by nothing but English. It’s all they ever talked to me in. It’s all I was ever taught and yet people give me grief for it.

My relatives can’t believe it, that I don’t understand anything.

They say, “Well your sisters understand? Why don’t you?”

There’s an 8-12 year age gap between my sisters and I. And when they were raised, my parents still spoke a lot of creole. Because they were still learning English.

My friends who speak their own heritage languages, usually Spanish, also give me grief for it. I’ve literally been told, “You’re a disgrace. How is it possible that you’re more fluent in Spanish than your family’s language?” (Nvm that part of my family speaks Spanish natively but…)

Oh I don’t know.

Maybe because I was forced to learn Spanish in school.

Maybe because… I was taught Spanish?

Maybe because my parents who came to this country and were forced to learn this horribly difficult tongue thought it would be better for me to just learn English because that’s the kind of society we live in. Where English is pushed and heritage languages are pushed to the back burner.

And it’s horrible. And I hate it. But I won’t feel guilty anymore for a situation I’m a victim of, not the criminal.

I am learning Haitian Creole. I am trying.

My sisters are all at varying degrees and none of them are putting in any work to improve. They’re content with whatever level they naturally were raised into. They never had to learn anything, and they’re not learning now, but I am.

I put in time.

And time.

And time.

And all I ever get is backlash from my distant family. Because all they see is that I’m the only one they can’t talk to easily.

I asked it once and I’ll ask it again, why are you bashing people who can’t speak their heritage language?

Stop. Giving. Us. Grief. When. We. Are. Trying.

Stop laughing at us.

Stop judging us.

Stop making us feel bad for something we had no control over.

Of course I’d love to speak to my mother in her native tongue. Of course I’d love to connect with distant cousins and relatives, and I will. When I can. When I learn. But mocking me is not helping.

Don’t pretend like being raised to speak a language is as easy as putting in the work to learn it. And I say that because the main people talking are the same people who only know the foreign languages they were raised to speak! Shut. Your. Mouth. Hmu when your french is past elementary level.

The one thing this experience has made me realize is how proud I am of my parents for having put in the work to learn a foreign language. My mom especially is my greatest inspiration. She did it and she does it every day, so I believe I can. Every time I want to give up, she always tells me I can do it. I just have to be patient. It’ll come with time.

Happy Birthday!

“Jackson, please, stop.”

“No, April, I won’t. It’s her first birthday. I think we, better than anyone, are aware how you can’t get these for granted.”

 A deep silence felt over the wooden table. The redhead was staring at her lap, hands still holding the silverware. She could feel the tears pooling up behind her waterline, but was determined to not let them fall. April could feel Jackson’s eyes staring at her skull, and she could picture exactly how guilt and apologetic they were at the moment. Unfortunately, the anger that was overcoming the sadness in her chest didn’t let her care. She saw his hand lay the fork over the table and try to reach hers right in front of him, as she wouldn’t meet his eyes, but all the woman could do was to release her utensils and put them away.

Keep reading

My sister just finished Awakenings (also, the chick who gives me grief because I play over and over, immediately started Origin again) and we were at Walmart getting some stuff. In line we were discussing the Architect and if he was an ancient Magister like Corypheus and about his plan to make people half darkspawn etc.

The cashier says “what are you two talking about? You’ve got me interested more in 5 minutes than anything has in awhile.”

My sister says “Dragon Age Awakening” and I said the Dragon Age Series including the books (because I had brought up The Calling when we were talking about the Architect.

She gave the biggest nod like she’d heard of it before but now she was really interested lol I love it when I run into nerds :D

anonymous asked:

For months, years, I believed in the idea that q and c would find light together in their world of darkness because the story was leading me there. I trusted the story, as an audience must if they are to truly fall into the world being created. That world was showing me plainly that people with mental illness, people who are damaged and broken and knocked down by this fucked up world that we live in could crawl out of their holes and be loved. Their hope gave me hope. (1/2)

But now I’m being told that the show was not leading me there at all. That I was fabricating my hope out of thin air. It makes me feel naïve and stupid, when I know that I am not. I have always loved homeland for its ability to show me truth as only fiction can, and now, it has lied to me. While the creators directed their efforts towards prescience and relevance they sacrificed the thing people want most from stories,: to feel less alone in the universe. Do you still trust them?

Can I give you a hug? I want to give you a hug. 

It’s probably not much consolation, but where this television show has failed in making me feel less alone through its own storytelling, it has brought me closer in grief, confusion, and sadness to others who feel the same right now. Please know that you are not alone right now. So many people feel lied to and cheated right now. It’s a normal reaction when you have in fact been lied to. If you no longer trust the writers, that is also a normal response. 

While Carrie and Quinn were never the happiest, go-luckiest pairing on earth, there was hope. There was something genuine about them, about their bond, that attracted so many people to their story. That wasn’t fabricated out of thin air. Not by a long shot. 

Please don’t feel naive and stupid. The writers pulled a bait-and-switch; that’s just the fact of the matter. Damaged, broken, fucked up people are deserving of love. Perhaps not in the ethos of Alex Gansa, but in real life and in other fiction: yes. 

          anyone willing to give me isle!ben???

basically he’s still son of the beast but either a) the beast’s curse was never broken, he reigned in terror over his people until a good kind came along and he was banished to the isle (don’t think about ben’s conception too hard in this one, lmao) or b) belle broke the curse, had ben, but then she died/was killed and the grief and desire for revenge turned the beast back into a beast, which eventually got him and his son banned.

sky-gone-rampant  asked:

I just read your post addition about tipping the IHOP cook and I want to BLESS YOU FOREVER I can't imagine being that poor soul but I know they surely would've felt better after that kindness you showed. Reading about that was delightful thank you.

It’s really important to me that I help treat people fairly whenever I can.  And to show understanding.  

I didn’t used to be like that.  I used to be one of those awful people who would only tip for “good” service.  I’m very grateful I wised up.

That time at IHOP, wow.  Was I annoyed that my food came back absolutely awful and I had to send it back?  TWICE?  Oh my god, yes.  (Aside: do you know how bad something has to be before I will actually request a replacement?  Usually I just give them a heads up and eat it anyway because I don’t like making trouble, and also because I am usually, you know, really fucking hungry.  This food was unsalvageable.)

And this was happening to my girlfriend, too, who was with me, so it wasn’t just me being inconvenienced.

But instead of being a pain in the ass about it, we took our server aside and said This is absolutely wild.  What’s wrong? and that allowed us to at least try to help, even if it was just by being understanding, instead of just giving people grief.  Because we were regulars, we knew it was an unusual, extraordinarily shitty situation for that restaurant.  We had the choice: be shitty, and make it shittier for everyone (including us), or be patient and kind.  Instead of using our status as regulars to make a stink, we used it to find out what was wrong and try to help fix it.  Because that’s what kind people do.  We were lucky that we had ten bucks between us to send to the cook, but even if we hadn’t, being understanding was free.

I’m gonna rant.

“I don’t care what’s wrong, I want the food I paid for hot and edible and on time!” is … a defensible stance, sure, but when someone says it out loud like that, you usually don’t have to listen very hard to hear the (often unthinking) lack of empathy behind it.  

The way people actually treat food service workers often betrays a fundamental lack of caring – the food is more important than the people cooking it and bringing it out to you.  That’s bullshit, frankly, and an appalling attitude to take with people working a hard job.  If your food is more important to you than the people providing it, you’re either an asshole, painfully thoughtless, or a painfully thoughtless asshole, and that’s that.  Thankfully, Millennials (y’all are a little younger than me) seem to be a less-entitled lot, so I see less of that in younger people than in people my age and above.

You want good service?  Instead of demanding it, or punishing people for not providing it, be a good customer

One of the very best things you can do to improve your restaurant experience is to A) actually become a regular somewhere, and B) treat the staff there very well indeed.  It doesn’t even have to be a good restaurant.  We were regulars at IHOP, for fuck’s sake.  But learn the servers’ names or at least their faces, leave a tidy-ish table when you’re done, acknowledge the cleanup crew, thank everyone for bringing you anything or clearing anything away, and tip your ass off.  We left 20% at least, but since the kid’s plate I usually ordered takes the same effort to bring out as an adult’s I usually tried to leave a little more, sometimes 50%.  Because these people sit me down and bring me everything I could possibly want.  And that is fucking magical, okay?

And bad service?  Doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker.

We went to a restaurant at this hotel when we were on vacation.  Good food, great view.  The service was bad, though.  Like, this kid was seriously apathetic and even I was annoyed.  We tipped around 20% as usual and I probably drew a fox or a bird or something on the receipt, like I usually do, and I’m sure I wrote Thanks!

The next day, because we wanted to enjoy the view and the food again, we decided we’d just accept probably-bad service again as the price of admission.  (The view really was beautiful.)  We were there at the same time so we had the same server.  But this time, the service was excellent.

Either he had had an off day the day before, in which case I hope our tip helped lighten things up, or he remembered us and did better the second time … meaning we maybe inspired him to try harder by being kind first.  Either way, everyone benefited.  It all worked out.

This positive feedback thing can be established in a single meal.  It improves things for literally everyone, including the people dining after you.

How can you not want that experience?  How can you not want to create a better environment for you, your server, and other diners?  It is so easy and costs you nothing you shouldn’t already be budgeting for.

Look for ways to help.  If I can, I tip bartenders at restaurants I go to, even if I don’t use the bar.  Why?  Because there is always some asshole taking up their time and not tipping.  Because even if they are terrible at their job and kind of a dick, there is probably someone who relies on them at home.  A partner, a kid, a cat, someone who needs them.  I will drop a fiver in the jar and say “Because you are underappreciated.”  And buddy, I challenge you to find me a single human being on this earth, right or wrong, who does not believe that is true.

It is imperative that we see restaurant staff as real human beings with valid financial and emotional needs and treat them accordingly.

And I want to emphasize, I am as poor as if not poorer than the people I am tipping.  I am disabled.  I get by on government assistance and what my girlfriend makes delivering pizza.  My bank account is down in the low double digits at the end of every month.  I still make an effort to afford basic good tips, because while dining out may be a luxury, tipping is not a luxury.  It is a necessary part of supporting our fellow human beings who are laboring in a system that does not have their needs in mind, ever.  That’s already unfair.  We don’t need to make it more unfair by saying “That’s the restaurant industry’s problem, not mine.  I shouldn’t have to tip, so I won’t.”  If that’s your sincerely held belief, stay home and make yourself something tasty.  Oh, but does that sound like too much work?  D o e s  i t ?

Am I being heard, here?

I am going to keep ranting.

My girlfriend does pizza delivery.

People are often totally unaware – as I was unaware when she started this job – that they should be tipping.  That delivery fee does not go to the driver, and yes, that’s unfair, but refusing to tip because it should ignores the very real fact that she needs this job and needs those tips for us to get by.

Abstaining from tipping on principle doesn’t teach the company anything, but teaches the drivers (or wait staff) that your address (or table) is a dud.

She comes home with back and shoulder and neck pain from slinging around heavy pizza bags.  She gets in minor accidents and gets flats all the time because she’s on the road so much, so our car is always costing us money to fix.  She trips over shitty landscaping, or slips in mud.  She gets wet in the rain, and she sweats in the heat.  She goes into neighborhoods most people wouldn’t be caught dead in.  She does this in all weather, all weather, even the shit y’all don’t want to go out in. Even in weather I consider terrifyingly unsafe.  And on top of that, she has to be the face of the company when the call center or the cooks screw up, and come up with solutions for angry customers.

This really is not so different from what restaurant workers endure.  Different downsides, but they’re there.  The job is hard.  And most wait staff I’ve spoken to about it have said to me that they don’t even mind that it’s hard, they actually like their jobs pretty well … but they mind when it’s thankless.

Be.  Patient.  And.  Kind.


Tip. Your. Service. People.

And if you hear something is wrong upstream?  See what you can do for them, too.  Even if it’s just a word of encouragement or a kind word to the manager or a simple human acknowledgment of “Hey, it sounds like the cook is having a rough night, please tell them that we hope it gets better.”

You are never helpless to make someone’s job easier when you are going out to eat, or getting delivery.

anonymous asked:

sorry but why don't you like godot? not hating, just wondering

well. i mean, he’s incredibly sexist.

he tells franziska von karma to “know [her] role and shut [her] mouth” just because she’s a girl

he murdered Misty Fey by “accident” but later admits that he knew exactly what he was doing

not to mention the whole ‘kitten’ thing skeeved me the hell out and made me feel gross as fuck

and the real kicker: he spends the entire game giving Phoenix Wright grief because he didn’t “protect” a grown woman who was murdered by things that were both out of his control and also?? 

mia doesn’t need a man to protect her?? fuck off godot

As a queer person who lives in Florida and was actually planning on moving to Orlando, what happened just recently in heart breaking. So many LGBT+ people were shot and killed at Pulse, and especially since it happened during pride month, that’s quite a blow that makes me sob and shake out of pure grief and fear.

It also pisses me off how everyone uses these kinda situations as some form of political movement though. Like, guys, it’s been less than 24 hours. Please stop talking about radical Muslims and gun laws for at least a couple days. Everyone in Florida, and especially Orlando and the LGBT+ community, are absolutely terrified and grief stricken. At least give us a few days to mourn before you try pointing fingers at one thing or the other, or try to start stepping up on your own mighty fucking horse to preach. 50+ are dead, with 50+ more being injured. This is the worst mass shooting in American history. Just shut up about politics for five minutes and show some damn respect for the dead.

anonymous asked:

how old were you when you started to focus on lover your body (if it wasnt always how you felt about yourself)?

its been a constant thing ever since i was about 11 probably

it started off with me accepting the fact that i was probably not gonna grow up to be cute and thin. i sort of told myself that its okay that im not attractive because that means my friends who stuck around arent only there for the looks but because they actually love and appreciate my personality. obviously not the healthiest mentality, but it was a start

this is what i looked like then to give you an idea

when puberty hit when i was 13 my body was way out of whack and it was probably my worst year when it comes to body image. i was highly self conscious about the fact that i was fat (i distinctly remember crying and panicking in the counselors office in school after gym because i thought somebody had been laughing at me running). my boobs began to grow but they were way out of proportion to my body and dumb middle school boys would make fun of the fact that i had a small chest despite the fact that their balls hadnt dropped yet. i had extremely severe acne all over my face and eczema on my skin which led to me developing dermatillomania (compulsive picking of the skin). i would pick at my skin during school, especially around my chest, and people would call me gross.

at 14 my body began to develop more, my hips widened and the skin on my face cleared up significantly (except for the scars left over from picking). my body looked slightly more proportional but not really. but i started to feel somewhat better about myself, despite the fact that i was going through my hella emo phase. however i didnt spend much time thinking about my body around that time.

ah the emo

15 was about the age i really got into feeling better about my body. after i started looking in the mirror and realizing, hey, im not half bad actually, i worked on other parts of my body. some places i had no trouble with and felt comfortable with immediately, such as my legs (i have some damn hot legs) whereas some areas took a little more work. i spent a lot of time squishing my thighs and tummy and making little squishy squishy noises and laughing at how cute it was and how it was so me. it got to the point where the only part of me i didnt like was my boobs and my skin

awkward homecoming pic is awkward

16 is where i focused a lot on my boobs. i had gotten past the point of being uncomfortable with my boobs, but i still felt self conscious about them and i thought they were really weird shaped and small and had huge nipples and had a lot of scars from picking because i would alost always pick at the skin on my boobers and they just werent pleasing when it came to the boob department. i never felt like i couldnt take my clothes off around somebody like a friend or a boyfriend, i just thought nobody would ever like em and they were just useless lumps there for nothing but to give me grief. i was wrong in all of that. not only are my boobs hella, they also deserve a lot more love than i give them (i say that bc my skin picking often scars them more). also nobody who has seen my boobs has ever been repulsed by them. the fact that they are disproportional to my body is just a part of me, i wouldnt want it to be any different

my face also cleared up almost all the way, and i think a last spurt of puberty hit me

17-18 the constant struggle with my skin. honestly im very comfortable in my own body. my skin doesnt bother me that often. its more when i become aware of what im doing to it which makes me very unhappy about it. the areas where i pick has spread from just my face and chest to my face, chest, stomach, arms, inner thighs, back, and occasionally my outer thighs, pubic area, and legs. you can even see in the picture above that i have red marks all over my shoulders and upper body. now sometimes i love my skin, and i think its very soft, and other times i hate it and would rather have it gone. it depends on how im feeling

also these pictures dont display that i just wanted to keep up with the trend of posting “when i was that age” pictures

overall im very happy with the confidence ive acquired in my own body. i love the way i can look in the mirror every day as my body changes and still feel as comfortable and content as the day before, and it kills me to know people look in the mirror and see something so awful. what a lot of people who argue against body positivity dont seem to understand is that feeling happy and comfortable with your body isnt about one body type (i.e YOU ARE ALL PROMOTING OBESITY SFKHFGEGALAWD), its about consistently being able to view your body as a welcome thing as it changes and grows. ive gained at least 40lbs in the past two years, and its visibly clear on my body when i compare pictures of me from two years ago. and i still look in the mirror at the parts of me that have grown and still feel comfortable with it. a body is not meant to fit one mold. often times (using a generic example here about weight loss) people will think that losing weight will give them the confidence they need in their body, and it may, for a short time. but what happens when a person puts on a little extra weight over christmas break? its back to the gym and the diets. not because that person feels like being healthy, but because their body is not “good” in the way they perceive it. “good” is a certain number on the scale. “good” is how far your belly puffs out. “good” is what they show in those weight loss commercials. and that not what makes a body “good” at all. thats why its essential to find ways to love your body as your body, as a part of you. good is finding your own boundaries, good is finding out whats healthy for your own body type. good is studying the way your body looks and how it is so inevitably you. good is adjusting to change and maybe some clothes that are too small or too baggy that you have to throw away. good is telling yourself the things you like about yourself rather than the things you find ugly. good is eating healthy, but not being afraid to eat what you want. good is smiling in the mirror. good is recovery. good is continuous. 

Rebuild- A Pearl Mix

A mix for the gem who’s strong in the real way.

1. Après Moi| Regina Spektor//2. Alive| Superchick//3. Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance| Kate Nash//4. Together| Lunatica//5. Still Here| Digital Daggers//6. Hold On To Your Misery| Cock n Bull Kid//7. When Your Feet Don’t Touch The Ground| Ellie Goulding//8. Fragile| Delta Goodrem//9. All This and Heaven Too| Florence + the Machine//10. I Wish I Was Someone Better| Blood Red Shoes//11. Synthetica| Metric//12. Pearl Days| Elisa

Play on 8tracks

Play on Playmoss

Annotations and lyrics under the cut!

Keep reading


It all started when I was trying to find out where to send my Rupert Grint fan mail.

I was 11, and a Yahoo search led me to the official Warner Bros Harry Potter forum, and that’s where I found my very first sex mentor, let’s call her xxSlytherinXXXSweetie<3xxx. Her avatar was a svelte blonde doll, she typed in yellow Arial against the edgy-for-the-noughties black site background, and when she talked about Draco Malfoy’s 6-inch-long cock (lol OK), she had to spell it “” to trick the website’s decency filters. She probably didn’t know that her slightly naughty (but mostly just bad) fan fiction would make me blush, or that that garish yellow “” would live in infamy as my initiation into a culture that defined my teenage years. As they say, you never forget your first.

Offline, I was a sheltered military brat; I spent most of my time with my church youth group, or watching the Disney Channel and reading children’s fantasy books, so I had never really come in contact with much sex slang. Even now I can’t read the word “cock” without visualising that little dissecting full stop. Even when we’re talking about chickens. Or raised eyebrows.

Being scandalised by a mediocre sex scene was not something Hermione, the ultimate heroine of my rich teen fantasy life, would do. (Especially not the Hermione of this fic, who was too busy getting drilled by Draco in a magical soundproof bubble in the Prefects’ Toilet to be worried about the shock value, or worse, grammatical sin, of a pretty arbitrary epithet for junk.) But the idea that a character I knew, loved, and admired, could be doing something that felt so far beyond my maturity level is something I thought I should be worried about. Something I was ill-equipped to deal with. This was grown-up stuff, and grown-up stuff is scary. At 11, I was only about 10% curious about it; the remaining 90% cringed from sex in every other aspect of life. Too busy organising Beanie Babies and lip-syncing to Mandy Moore, thank you very much.

I’m what you’d call a late bloomer; I’m not quick on the uptake. I’m fast to blush and slow to adjust to change. Things rarely happen at the right time for me: I never felt like I was keeping up with my friends. Half the time I feel like I’m not keeping up with myself.

For example, my romantic and sexual awakenings were very different things. While the former was all fireworks and sunshine and Rupert Grint’s fucking beautiful blue eyes (Rupert – call me), my sexual awakening was more of a I-hit-snooze-three-times-and-this-alarm-is-loud-but-goddamnit-I-will-stay-in-my-bed scenario, plus presumably some teen film star’s hot bod? I honestly couldn’t say. My desire for sex always made much less of an impact than my petrifying fear of the unknown.

While I can’t tell you who made me go weak north of the knees as a teen, I can give you a list of approximately 70 boys, real, fictional, famous, or otherwise I was chastely devoted to. What can I say? A combination of religious schooling, crippling shyness, and fear of attachment made me terrified of sex and my own body. I completed university a virgin. I couldn’t even bring myself to use a tampon for the first probably 60 periods I ever had. Even as an adult who’s had a good few years to figure this whole sex thing out, the whole deal is often plagued by an anxiety and self-loathing I can’t quite shake.

But, as a teenager, I found that that anxiety dissipated beneath the security blanket of my all-time favourite ‘ship: The Internet/Harry Potter. Nothing captured my imagination as much as Hogwarts: a place that felt so human but simultaneously removed from reality. Combined with the internet, Hogwarts offered me the room to be myself, but at a raw level – to explore ideas, lifestyles, and relationships that I could never feel at ease with in the real world.

Because the internet is not the real world; it’s not a place where you are you, or even a place where your favourite characters are your favourite characters. The internet is a midsummer night’s dream where everything gets mixed up and you get to be a little bit daring and out of the ordinary. A place not unlike a magical school that exists just beyond the reality you know. Except the secret world of the internet is a lot more fucked up than the Wizarding World, not least because Harry/Hermione ‘shippers live there.

That fateful Draco/Hermione fic opened the floodgates: I got pretty comfortable interacting with completely fictional co.cks online, even as I remained terrified to death of meeting one in the real world. Over the next eight or nine years, I graduated from the Warner Bros site to more devoted fansites like MuggleNet and SnitchSeeker; I even did a stint as a moderator on SnitchSeeker. Sixth-grader and new kid Chelsey was a bit of a shy mess IRL, but ronweasleyrox (seriously, Rupert – please call) was a very trustworthy, responsible content manager. It’s a shame I can’t put it on my CV. When I wasn’t cleaning up spam on Invisionboards, I was busy exploring my first love: bad fucking fan fiction.

I read anything. I read everything. I consumed one-shots the same way I devour a full bag of oven chips after a night out, the same way I would – and still do – knock back questionable YA books. Reading fan fiction was easy, fun, and most importantly, it was the most subversive thing I had ever done in my painfully safe suburban upbringing.

I learned about blowjobs from a 200-chapter Marauders’ Era epic. My first exposure to protected sex discourse came in the form of a particularly memorable LiveJournal-based fic featuring a subplot in which Ron and Harry realise they’re more than friends and dive for the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Condoms. I held my breath when Lavender got pregnant with Won-Won’s baby, and I sighed with relief every time Ron and Hermione had a passionate, detailed makeout. I read steamy sex scenes for every imaginable pairing in the Wizarding World, and moved on to crossovers like a cringeworthy but interesting The Last Five Years-inspired Snape/Hermione one-shot. What a world.

But it was also more than just sex. Fan fiction was my first exposure to LGBT couplings, and welcoming my favourite characters’ imagined choices to love and fuck whoever they chose would be a huge part of enlightening me about the LGBT community, whose voices were otherwise not present in my life at the time. A narrative about Hermione’s struggle with anorexia would give me some comfort when I struggled with my own body image. Even the staunchly PG-rated submissions on taught me about grief, isolation, and mundane teenage angst – all in a firmly safe place.

There was something about these scenarios in which my childhood heroes could twist into new shapes that gave me a way to confront all of the strangeness of growing up even when, in all the other aspects of my life, I was refusing to do so. In the meta-fantasy world of fan fiction, I could hold these characters up as mirrors to my experiences, or as lenses into things I was afraid to experience. I could take two steps back to see all of the unfocused mess of the world at a safe distance. And when I was done playing make-believe online – when whatever uncomfortable or unfamiliar thing Hermione (always) et al were going through was over – I knew I could always find them again, untouched and safe, in canon.

Fan fiction, unlike a novel printed into permanence, was a map drawn in dry-erase. Gone,not real, the second I closed the window. It never fucking happened. Not to me, and not even to my favourite imaginary friends.

At the same time that I was sneak-reading Ginny Weasley/Tom Riddle erotica, I was attending a strict Christian school where sex ed was mostly “God says don’t” and an unforgettable assembly where pop songs were performed as warnings against heavy petting and drugs. Oh, and where Harry Potter books were banned. While 7am saw me outfitted in floor-length skirts and WWJD bracelets, midnight found me curled up in my kitty pyjamas, trawling through a bookmarked gallery of LiveJournals, fan forums, and FanFiction.Net on the family desktop. It was there that I learned to settle into myself, if even just a little bit. It’s where I grew up, to the extent that I could at least fathom sex even if I couldn’t do it. It was there that I felt in charge of my own life and choices, and got to try on different personalities and different lives, and it was there that I became a writer.

More than anything, fan fiction became my one-stop primer on all things: sex, bodies, politics, lonely teenagehood. It was my nerdy version of Cosmopolitan. It didn’t tell me what to do; in fact it offered bizarrely shit advice. But in a small way it prepared me for the world, and in a big way it made me braver – even if I’m still at my bravest when there’s a screen and a keyboard between me and everyone else.

PS: Rupert, if you’re reading this, I would ever so much like a follow-up to our 2003 correspondence. “Eat slugs, Rupert Grint x” isn’t enough to keep me going forever, you know.

[Fic]: And So, The Cat Returned

Summary: Eren met, befriended, and fell in love with Levi the person and Levi the cat.

aka, where I tried to write a cat AU for foreverautumnblog’s birthday five billion years ago and completely missed the mark. Happy belated birthday!!

All the kudos to my fantastic partner in crime, nikooki, who is absolutely amazing and made lovely art for our collab here. Check them out! They’re adorable! <3

And now, for the fic:

Keep reading