at any rate it's hopeful

6

Margaret’s last clue simply can’t be disregarded. By us, by the storytellers. It has to lead somewhere. But it’s not matched by anything in the show - Hawk never finds anyone on Blue Pine Mountain at night.

It could be a glimmer of hope for the future, that one night, when the moon won’t be darkened anymore, Coop will return to them (”watch for” has a positive connotation, it’s not a warning). Or it could come close to confirming the looping plot theory… especially since the mysterious “Hawk goes to Glastonbury Grove at night; doesn’t find crap” scene is immediately before the pt2 Lodge scene where “you can go out now”. And Glastonbury Grove is on the Blue Pine side of town…

TEACHING VIXX - CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Hello!! I’m still here! I’m sorry it took so long for an update. I hope I didn’t lose anybody! My last semester of college is crazy! My full-time job is getting busier because of the holidays. And I’m currently working on my resume to start teaching English in Seoul once I graduate! Its craziness all over!!


At any rate, I hope you enjoy this chapter. I promise the next one will come more quickly! Thank you for reading!


Also, Happy Birthday to Hongbin! Our little Bean is 23 now!!


—————————————–


You were still on the couch when Taekwoon headed back into the living room.


“Don’t listen to them, (y/n). They’re just playing around.” He knelt down in front of you on the floor.


You looked up at him and noticed that his eyes had not changed from the bright red.


“Your eyes are still red.”


He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. You shook your head when he opened them again, indicating that they were still red. You placed your hands on his cheeks and smiled.


“As much as I like it when your eyes turn red, the green suits you better.” You leaned in and pecked his lips. Your heart skipped a beat at the contact. When you pulled away he had a faint smile on his lips. It was short-lived.


“It just pisses me off that the son of a bitch is so close. He knows where you live and I have no idea how he found out. HaeJeong was supposed to take care of him.” He placed his hands on the couch on either side of your legs.


“Take care of him? What does that mean?” Images of The Godfather popped into your head and you’d hoped it wasn’t that serious.


“There are places for hybrids who break laws or go rogue. There are several jails throughout the world that can keep them locked up. Hakyeon is supposed to call Haejeong tomorrow to see what happened.”


“It’ll be alright. I stay around you guys most of the time anyway so I don’t think he’ll be able to do anything. He’s just a big bully.”


“He’s more than that. He’s crazy and dangerous. He’s already hurt you once. I can’t let that happen again. It wont happen again.” He stood and pulled you up along with him. You could tell he was tense and on edge.


“Okay, there’s nothing we can do about him right now, correct?” He nodded and you continued. “Good, so let’s just try and get some rest and we’ll worry about it tomorrow. Deal?”


He sighed and nodded. “Deal.”


“Alright. I’m going to go get ready for bed. Why don’t you go next door and do the same?”


“Fine, but I’m coming back once I’m done.”


You knew there was no point in arguing.


“Fine. Stubborn cat.” You smiled and turned to go to your bedroom. You stopped when you heard a growl. It wasn’t like the sound a human makes when they attempt to imitate a growl. This was pure animal. Wide-eyed, you turned to Taekwoon and saw that his eyes were no longer red. They were back to green….and glowing. The slow smile that appeared in his face had you begging you knees not to collapse. Calling him a cat turned him on?! You made a mental note to remember that.


“Taekwoon?”


“Hmm?” His stare was making it difficult for you to form words.


“You might want to take a cold shower.”


The glow in his eyes dimmed a bit and he chuckled. “Not a bad idea.” And with that, he was out the door.


————–


Your shower lasted longer than it should have. Everything was running through your head all at once. The day had started out so wonderful. You were pissed off at the asshole who decided to ruin it. You understood that there were not many people out there who could control hybrids but surely he didn’t have to focus on you so much. The fact that he knew where you lived unnerved you. You also hated that the boys had to be on edge as well watching out for the guy. They were on a break after working so hard and they should be able to relax. They shouldn’t have to watch over you.


You were forced to end your shower when the water turned cold. You made sure to put on your pajamas before you exited the bathroom. Normally you just wore a towel out and got dressed in your bedroom. Knowing that Taekwoon could come back at any time, you didn’t want to take the chance that he would see you. Wrapping your hair in a towel, you walked into your bedroom. You peeked out of your room but didn’t see Taekwoon. After going through your nightly routine of lotion and the like you removed the towel from your head and grabbed the hair dryer. You always dried your hair upside down so you flipped it over and began drying. You had backed up against the wall for support as you were too worn out to stand on your own. Fatigue was creeping up on you but you feared that your mind was too wound up to let you sleep. When your hair was almost dry, two feet appeared on the floor in front of you. You straightened up, flipping your hair up at the same time. Taekwoon had entered your apartment silently and now stood in front of you.


“Hey, I’ll be out in a minute. I’m almost done dry-” You were not able to finish your sentence as Taekwoon’s lips had covered yours in a slow rhythm. One hand tangled into your still damp hair and the other snaked around your waist, pulling you to him. This kiss was completely different than the first. It was more sensual and almost reassuring. It was as if he was making sure you hadn’t left while he was away. Almost instantly, your mind and body began to relax and you simply melted into him. Before he broke away, you realized that he had calmed like he’d done before, after the attack. You smiled up at him, feeling almost happily drunk.


“Do you want me to finish?” Glowing eyes stared at you.


“Huh?” F-finish what? You weren’t sure if you wanted to know the answer.


“Your hair. Do you want me to finish drying it? I kind of inturrupted you.” He smiled like the Cheshire Cat. He wasn’t sorry at all that he had done that. Well, neither were you, for that matter.


“Oh! Uh, no thats ok. Its dry enough. It wont take long for the rest of it to dry.”


“C'mon, I brought you some late-night snacks, courtesy of Wonshik and Hongbin.”


“Oh? What is it?” You tried to follow but when you took a step your legs had turned to jello and you hit the floor. Embarrassed, you just buried your head into the carpet. You could hear Taekwoon laughing, which didn’t help the situation.


“Are you okay?” He knelt on the floor next to you.


“I’m fine. Just leave me here for the rest of the night, please.” Your voice was muffled by the carpet. You really just wanted to melt into the floor and disappear.


“Hmm, I don’t know about that. I might trip over you in the middle of the night if I have to go to the bathroom.” You could hear the laughter in his voice.


“Well, its your fault!” You raised your head up the yell at him.


“Mmhmm, I know. I could feel your nerves bundled up all the way over there and I figured you might want some help calming down. Perhaps I did a bit too much?”


“You think?” You glared at him. “You know, you probably don’t have to use your calming abilities. I think you could just kiss me and it would have the same effect.” You gasped after you said that and buried your head again. Oh God, that was embarrassing to say. You hadn’t meant to say that out loud. You heard him laugh again and you just groaned.


“I’ll remember that for next time.” He reached down and pulled you to your feet. Once you were steady, he leaned down and picked you up, carrying you into the living room.


“Put me down! I can walk.” This was not helping your embarrassment. He didn’t respond, he just plopped you down on the couch. You glared at him as he walked to the kitchen table and brought back a small box.


“Wonshik and Hongbin went down for some coffee and brought this back for you. Wonshik said that its something his sister always get so he thought you might like it.”


You accepted the box and looked inside. It was an assortment of delicate chocolate truffles. The decorator in you appreciated the craftmanship of the little treats. The girl inside of you appreciated the chocolate. A wide smile appeared on your lips.


“These are perfect! I’ll have to return the favor one day. They didn’t have to do that. They are such cute little fluff-balls.” You bit into one of the truffles and almost sighed at the perfection. Yes, you would definitely have to return the favor.


You watched Taekwoon as he went over to the far side of the couch, sat down, and pouted.


“I can be a fluff-ball, too, you know.” He said in such a small whisper that you almost didn’t hear him.


When you realized what he had said, you burst out laughing. He was jealous that you had shown some affection towards Wonshik and Hongbin. You crawled over to his side of the couch, careful not to spill the box of truffles and laid your head on his shoulder.


“You are a fluff-ball. The best kind.” The only response you received was a pouty “hmph”. Rolling your eyes, you reached into the box and held out a truffle for him. You could tell he wanted one. Taekwoon was not usually one to refuse food. He opened his mouth to speak but instead you shoved the truffle in there. After being forced to chew the delicacy, he nodded in agreement that it was good.


When he was finished he looked at you and then down at the box. He was silently asking for another one but his pride wouldn’t allow him to speak.


“Uh-uh. The rest are mine. My gift. My chocolate. You were lucky I gave up one of them.” You closed the box and set it aside.


“Fine. I’ll just have you instead.” He said as his arms went around you and pulled you into his lap. His head bent down and his teeth latched onto your shoulder in a barely-there bite. You could only laugh at his playfulness.


“Quit that! People are going to think that your some kind of animal!” He released your shoulder and smiled up at you. He held you closer to him and nuzzled your ear before resting his head on your shoulder.


He was silent for a while and you were too content to start up a conversation. Finally, after a few minutes, he raised his head to look at you.


“You really don’t mind that I’m not entirely human?”

2

{Listen}

Muggle Mania: How the Folk Songs of a Resistance changed Magical Britain by Domitius Savage, 2003.

Stroll along Diagon Alley and you’re as likely to hear the strains of The Wyrd Sisters’ latest hit playing in the stores as muggle hits from yesteryear. Janis Joplin, for some mystifying reason, appears to be particularly popular.  Not a single pureblood wandering the premises finding new ways to empty their Gringotts accounts will bat an eyelid at this. Even the WWN, that bastion of conservatism, gave way a year ago and instituted a muggle music programme  - by popular demand, the official line went.

Rewind a few years, back to 1997 and here we were, in bonny old England fighting a civil war over the right of muggles and muggleborns to exist. The thought of tainting oneself by admitting to something as lowly as a penchant for the muggle was enough to make even the most liberal witch or wizard break out in dragonpox. People bent over backwards to demonstrate just how wizardly they were, some enthusiastically going as far as to turn in their neighbours for owning Wedgwood tea kettles – never mind that they had Aston Martin DB5s hidden away in their workshops. Muggle was out, magic was in and the very pureblooded Thriambics were all the rage.

So how exactly did the wizarding world change its mind overnight and develop an infatuation for muggle music?

Most historians will trace this change to that seminal moment in history, the War Memorial Service, where Celestina Warbeck performed a cover of the muggle hit We’ll Meet Again and singlehandedly moved all of Wizarding Britain to tears. The recorded version of that cover topped the charts for ten weeks running in 1998 and unmistakably, from then on, the fire had been lit and other would be chart toppers attempted to emulate Ms Warbeck’s singular success by releasing their own covers of various muggle songs; some with more success than others. Scylla Fawley’s lighthearted cover of 99 Red Balloons met with more success, for example, than The Wyrd Sisters’ more earnest attempt to convert You’ll Never Walk Alone into their standard thrashing wrock fare. Isengrimm and the only surviving member of The Thriambics, Leslie Shaw, staged a tribute show for Tommy Foxx playing covers of various muggle rock songs said to have been a formative influence on Foxx’s oeuvre and a dramatic grand finale which consisted of a wrock version of the muggle 1812 Overture, replete with dazzling pyrotechnics and exploding cannons. Muggle music had well and truly arrived in the wizarding world, even if it took the form of the outdated LP.

However, the history of this movement must be traced further back to the beginnings of the second wizarding war and the formation of the Muggleborn Resistance. Fleeing the Carrows’ rule at Hogwarts, this group of teenagers (and the odd adult here and there) fought valiantly against the Death Eaters. It was the Resistance which was responsible for methodically hunting down Snatchers across Britain. Bringing muggle weapons, with magical modifications, and innovative battle tactics to the table, the Resistance were a key influence in turning the tide against You Know Who and the Death Eaters. All while campaigning fiercely for their right to exist.

It was that fight for their right to exist and their unwillingness to give up the things that made them stand out like sore thumbs in the wizarding world which led them to take a strange mix of muggle nationalist hymns, war ditties, football anthems and pop songs and adapt their lyrics for the war they were fighting.  Some of these songs were rousing calls to action – Jerusalem redux, for example, had its evangelistic last line switched for the rather less graceful “till we have rid the Death Eaters from England’s green and pleasant land” – others were songs of rebellion, illustrating the difference between them and the rest of the wizarding world. Others were provocative challenges, full of raw anger and defiance and that most damnable of English instincts; an unwillingness to give up. Yet others, humourous discussions of politics. He is a Pureblood, a rewrite of He is an Englishman from Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, is perhaps one of the best examples of this particular genre, with its tongue-in-cheek skewering of blood supremacy in the wizarding world. Broadcast on the underground radio station Potterwatch, along with an eclectic mix of other muggle music from the ‘sixties to the ‘eighties, these songs captured the imagination of Wizarding Britain and very soon, the eerie chant of Remember, Remember became associated with approaching muggleborns and liberation from the Death Eaters.

Not all of these songs made the broadcast, however, some being deemed too vulgar for public consumption. Inspired, undoubtedly, by the bawdy propaganda tunes of the Second World War, the most popular of these was the offensively named “Voldie has only got one ball”. Sung with great gusto as they marched into battle, the song went on for nearly twenty verses, attacking each known Death Eater by name with rude comments about their bedroom abilities. Even Snape, whom one would imagine would have instilled the fear of Merlin in their hearts during his reign as Potions professor, had a whole verse accusing him of bestiality with the janitor’s cat – among other things. Its choicest verses are reproduced below:

Malfoy has only got one ball
Snapey’s are so so very small
Carrow is so very similar
But poor old Voldie has no balls at all

Malfoy’s dick doesn’t fit the norm
Lost it to a Priapeen Worm
Voldie was bold and went on to make
His very own petrified sick dicksnake

Snape is an ugly evil bat
Whose last date was with Filch’s cat
Filch ain’t pleased and wants to string him up
And have him tortured while he has his sup

And so on and so forth ad nauseam, set to the lively Colonel Bogey’s March.

This is not to say that they were only interested in innuendo or raw anger; there was certainly a touching pathos to some of the songs that were chosen and sung, even when those choices were governed by a strict set of politics. You’ll Never Walk Alone, sung both during the end of the Siege at Hogwarts and at the funeral held for Colin Creevey, found its way into their repertoire not only because of its popularity as a football anthem – a casual conversation with Dean Thomas leaves you in no doubt that here is a football fan of no mean proportions, even if he is a West Ham man and therefore, has no claim to the anthem – but because of the sadness that tints its study of hopefulness and fighting.

At any rate, muggle music was drawn into the wizarding world through a very specific kind of politics. A politics designed to intimidate purebloods and show them that the muggleborns meant business and war. Yet also a politics which centered around identity and remembrance and embraced a connection to the muggle, rather than a rejection of all things muggle as the wizarding world had hitherto demanded. A politics that went from being a necessity enforced by war to being the identity of a whole crop of wix who grew up fighting and sought to find strength and comfort to fight. A politics which would later go on to be deemed far too extreme and far too discomforting for the wizarding world.

It seems almost insulting, given this history, that I can saunter into any store and inevitably end up listening to Janis Joplin without the store-owners having the faintest idea of who Joplin was – or the fact that her politics would almost certainly have been deemed too extreme for their tastes.

(Some of the verses of Voldie has Only Got One Ball were written by essayofthoughts. Priapean Worm is a magical STI created by thelethifoldwitch.)

Wrong Coordinates

(( Closed starter for @dear-harlow ))

Work hadn’t quite been completed on re-assembling all of Lucidia’s notes on the Void, but Gaster was so eager to get started on his pet project that he could hardly wait. On the side of course, he still worked on deciphering the notes, but work on his machinery was moving at a much more consistent pace. It was one that was very working in tandem with the project that he and Sans were working on together, but a lot of the work on this one was done primarily on his own, with some help from Sans and Alphys here and there. 

Gaster’s goal at present was to, at the very least, build a prototype machine that could break into the Void. Even if the portal couldn’t stay up very long, he would have at least reached a milestone goal for the project. The Void may have been a purgatory-like expanse that had no definite position within the timelines… But it still existed. At least, as far as he was concerned. He communicated with Lucidia, someone who was trapped there, and she seemed to be as real as anyone else the skeleton could have interacted with in his years…

Of course, it took a lot of work, and a lot of failed tests. More than Gaster could keep count of-his hash marks had melded together and had gotten lost on multiple notebook pages. Power had been lost to the house enough times that Sans wound up making an emergency generator as a backup while his father worked to re-route energy back to their home. There had even been a few times where the machine had worked itself so hard that it nearly exploded! Tenacious as ever however, Gaster wasn’t one to give up.

It had been a few months of work, but Gaster had finally made a prototype machine that was powerful enough to not destroy itself in the process of working. At least, that’s what he had hoped. In theory, it should work. But he had been wrong about a lot of things.

Gaster worked in silence and well into the night. He didn’t have his hearing aids in; he always seemed to work best in absolute silence. It was likely that both Sans and Papyrus had gone off to bed by now, but in the off chance that they were still awake, he still wanted to give them a warning that he was going to test the portal machine.

There were a series of switches and little lights along the wall near the stairs, each light and switch labeled with something that would help the family communicate with one another. If Gaster didn’t have his hearing aids in, his sons could tell him that dinner was ready without having to come into the lab to inform him. And if Gaster needed assistance in the lab, he didn’t have to go into the house to do the same. He flicked the switch for “testing,” and quickly retreated back to his work station.

Taking in a deep breath, Gaster took the time to double-check that everything was ready. Once satisfied, he punched in the coordinates that he had calculated, and turned on the machine. It roared into action-and actually started working!

Gaster’s eyes widened as he beamed, his breath caught in his throat. A portal slowly wavered in front of him, opening its maw like the yawn of a giant. If he had his hearing aids in, he would have heard the roar-like sound the followed suit, which made the entire lab tremble… That, he could feel. But if Papyrus and Sans were asleep, they certainly wouldn’t be now! Gaster’s chest shuddered as he managed to take in air.

However, as the portal opened, it didn’t reveal an endless black Void as he had hoped-there was color. Disappointing for sure, but… It was something! It was certainly something! More calculations had to be made-but this was a breakthrough! He didn’t even think to signal Sans to come down to join him, his mind was so abuzz with excitement. Gaster fumbled around with his papers and notebooks for a few moments, scrambling to get something that he could effectively write everything down on. 

He left the portal open, waiting for it to close on its own-seeing that it did. Or until the machine was over-worked enough to justify turning it off. Gaster had to see just how sturdy this portal was-and if he could, he would even try to throw something insubstantial through it. Maybe a note for whomever was on the other side… His pen was flying across paper faster than ever as he greedily wrote his information down, being keen to describe how the portal opened, and what he saw through it.