but four of them are dead

The Gainesville infoshop has been / is being threatened. From a local organizer:

Progressive folks, need to SEE and HEAR yall protesting WHITE SUPREMACIST, Richard Spenser!!! Yes, it is true that I will NOT be at UFL to protest. A few examples of why I will be in my ‘hood:1-Open my home door and found four dead rats! 2)Phone calls, 5-6-7 nasty phone calls! 3)Two white guys came to M.A.M.A.’s Club and poured shit and other stuff at the door(the homeless brothers and sisters took pics of them). So, yes, I’m upset and a bit scared, however, the struggle continues.

Magickal Ideas for Samhain

  • Carve a pumpkin and empower it to repel negativity or to protect the home
  • Build a shrine to your ancestors
  • Add divination to your ritual
  • Drink apple cider warmed and spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead
  • Research your family history and write a tribute to them to include in your ritual
  • Set a place at the dinner table for the recently deceased
  • Place small carved pumpkins at the four quarters
  • Visit cemetery and place flowers on the graves of your loved ones
  • Make a spirit candle.(White candle anointed with patchouli oil. Say:”with this candle and by its light, I welcome you spirits this Samhain night.” Place it inside jack o’lantern. This may be included in Ritual, or done separately.)
  • Make resolutions and burn in a candle flame. This is not the same as ridding yourself of bad habits, but is more like New Years resolutions, as for many Samhain is the New Year.
Season 4
  • me: it's a kid's show! they're not going to actually kill anyone off! everyone with these crazy dark theories needs to relax!
  • me: *watches season four*
  • me: *whispering* no one is safe anymore.

peter was a marauder, too.

i think that’s important to remember, when you think of the marauders. peter was there too. it wasn’t just james and sirius’ pranks, remus’ slightly more reticent nature. peter was alongside them in that time, no matter what he would go on to do later.

when you imagine the marauders, remember peter. remember the meek boy who idolised james and sirius, who learned under their wing. remember that he was there too, the child who would later break them apart, laughing and joking along with those who would later be crowned as heroes. it is easy to write him out of this history, to minimise his presence to a skulking hanger-on. but he was wormtail when that name wasn’t linked with evil; one of the three who learned the most difficult magic to help out their friend, who mapped an unmappable building, who achieved more than their teachers had ever suspected. peter was there, and he was in the middle of it. it is easy to imagine him as being a traitor before he betrayed them, but the truth is that it could happen to anyone whose will is not strong enough. peter snapped under the pressure, but he had the same promise as any of them. peter was a marauder until he made the most vile of mistakes.

four boys, together under the golden sunlight. tomorrow they would be separated - one dead, one imprisoned, one a traitor, one left alone. but when they were the marauders they were four, and we would do well to remember that.

It didn't really hit home until I went to bed that night that they all died in that final battle...

Because, at the end of it all we get to see the sun finally rise after 10 years of night. We see Umbra waking up in front of the Citadel at first light

But we don’t see the remaining Chocobros at all, not even the sound of footsteps from any of them.

I was half expecting Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto at least appear on screen at the end welcoming the sunrise in Insomnia with Umbra. Or at least any of the trio showing up at at all.

So let me explain my thoughts because this is going to be a mess of a ride for me. Plus, I’m writing this for closure, this game left me a sobbing mess 

I was so caught up in the moment when Noctis and Ardyn were in the crystal that this moment right here: 

Didn’t hit me like it should until later that night. 

At first you would think it was all simply symbolism, essentially Noctis projecting all the people that meant the most to him appearing in his final moments. In a way: it is; but not in a way that I thought at first.

But then it hit me, what if Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto are in there not because Noctis is thinking of them in spirit, but they are literally there in spirit?

Oh shit this is the part where I’m going to end up dead inside

Let’s all remember that Noctis, being the King of Kings is the only one allowed within the Crystal, and no one else. So Noctis has to absorb the 13 Kings of Lucis in order to take them with him within the Crystal. Because the Kings can’t go inside the Crystal by themselves, they needed Noctis as a vessel to get in.

And they did that through this soul crushing scene right here

Noct took the Kings with him via the Armiger, hence their presence in the Crystal.

so apparently you’ve been collecting weapons that will ultimately kill you in the end thanks dad

Luna’s presence makes sense too because her Trident is a part of his Armiger after receiving it from Gentiana/Shiva.

But remember: the Thirteen Kings of Lucis and Luna are all dead and that is their souls appearing within the Crystal

So what does that mean for the rest of our quartet?

They died in battle after Noctis ascended the throne, and the reason why the three appeared within the Crystal is because of this scene here

I don’t know about you guys but there was no way I was going to let Noctis leave the mortal plane without something to remind him of the more innocent part of his life so I picked Prompto’s first group pic:

I have a feeling most of us are sentimental fucks and probably picked one with all four of them in it too

So the game relied on its faith in us, the players, to pick a photo with the four of them present to some capacity. So when Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto died in battle, their souls followed Noctis along in the Crystal through his memento.

Long story short: 

Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto were with Noctis even in spirit till the very end.

ie:  All my boyfriends are dead and so am I

Because this scene right here

Was the battle that ultimately kills the three of them.

4

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab - The Four Londons

“You don’t know anything about these worlds,” he said, but the fight was bleeding out of his voice.
“Sure I do,” countered Lila cheerfully. “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,” she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I’m a fast learner.”

help-i-cant-adult  asked:

headcanons about the *blessed ot4* please? (Mari/Adrien/Nino/Alya)

  • nino and mari are like the deadpanned fatalistic members of the group
    • nino: dudes we’ve been studying for this test for like fifty years death is staring me in the face
    • mari: if we die like right now tho, we won’t have to take the test
    • nino: omg tru 
    • adrien: …….so can you two like, i dunno, love yourselves please?
  • nino makes a group snapchat for the four of them because he thought it’d be cute, but adrien and alya started spamming it when they turned it into a continuous ugly selfie contest that’s been going 27 days strong. mari and nino just leave it alone and snap each other directly. 
  • not only are mari and alya synced up, but adrien and nino become those mom friends that bring junk food, pain killers, and extra tampons to school in case the girls need it
  • adrien somehow has the numbers of nino’s, alya’s, and marinette’s parents and vice versa and adrien won’t tell how he got them
    • whenever one of them is out past curfew, they’ll always get a call from adrien being like “hey so your mom called me and she wants you home right away.”
    • adrien casually texts marinette’s mom often bc she’s always asking him how he is and if he’s eating. adrien doesn’t mind bc it’s nice to have a mom worry over him. 
  • marinette has sketched out schematics for how to sneak past the agreste mansion’s security, scale the side of adrien’s home, and break him out of his room for “friend time.” she’s dead serious about it too. 
  • there was one time adrien invited everyone over to his house so they could “work on a class project.” but he hid them in his closet until his father and nathalie went to sleep so that they could sleep over at his house without anyone knowing
    • they had to keep the noise down and ninja into the kitchen whenever they wanted snacks, but adrien was the only one with a bed big enough for all four of them and alya wanted to have a go on his rock climbing wall 
  • adrien and marinette are notorious for physically crying over cute animal photos/videos, so sometimes, to screw with them, alya and nino will spam them with links during class and laugh at them these two start sobbing into their notes in the middle of a geography lesson
It was in...

It was in 1st year when Draco Malfoy finally got to meet his hero, Harry Potter. However he wasn’t ready to meet the realisation that Harry Potter didn’t want to meet him. He didn’t even want to be his friend, so it was from this day forth that if he couldn’t be his friend, he would be his enemy.

It was in 2nd year that Draco got to challenge Harry Potter in Quidditch and in a duel. But it was all to beat him right? Because Draco was better than Saint Potter. He wasn’t trying to impress him, was he?

It was in 3rd year that Draco heard the famous Sirius Black had escaped from Azkaban. A man who was his family and who intended to hurt Harry Potter. But he couldn’t do anything apart from let him find Harry. Anyway he wanted this, for once the famous Harry Potter couldn’t be helped. He most certainly wasn’t scared for Harry, he was scared for himself. Right?

It was in 4th year that for once when the name “Harry Potter” was called out Draco didn’t feel annoyed or angry, he felt anxious and this time he knew it. Even though Harry was his rival, Draco knew that he couldn’t lose him to a stupid tournament. So when Harry came back clutching the lifeless body of Cedric Diggory and screaming “He’s back,” Draco knew that he wasn’t lying. That Voldemort really was back and Harry has to fight him. He’s his only hope.

It was in 5th year that everyone believed Harry was lying, Draco of course didn’t but he had to pretend he did. He couldn’t let anyone know that he’d come to care for his rival. So of course he teamed up with Umbridge to help bring Harry down whilst all the while spending every second fearing when Voldemort will strike and take away Harry.

It was in 6th year that Draco realised he was in love. He was in love with the one person everyone around him had taught him to hate. But it was also in this year that Voldemort asked him to murder Dumbledore. From the start he knew he not only couldn’t do it but he wouldn’t do it. For once he wanted to be like Harry, he wanted to do the right thing. Even though he failed to complete the task Draco felt as though he had succeeded in doing the right thing.

It was in 7th year that everything fell apart. Everything Draco knew was crumbling around him, he didn’t know where Harry was and he was scared. For he was slowly starting to believe that Voldemort might win. The first thing that Draco felt when Harry Potter was thrust onto the Manor floor was relief. Even with a stinging hex Draco knew it was Harry, how couldn’t he? But Draco was still so scared for his entire future, he can’t have Voldemort win. So he said he couldn’t be sure if it was Harry because that’s what you do when you’re in love, you protect them no matter the consequences on yourself. Yet when Draco heard Voldemort utter the four words he never wanted to hear of “ Harry Potter is dead,” Draco felt as though his entire world was collapsing. But the thrill that surged through every vein of his when Harry jumped out of Hagrid’s hands was so intense that Draco’s whole body shuddered. Harry can win this Draco muttered to himself and the sense of unlawful joy that ripped through Draco when Harry did win was almost impossible.

It was in 8th year when everyone who fought in the war came back to retake their 7th year that Draco had the courage to express his feelings to a newly befriended Harry Potter. And thankfully, it was in 8th year that Draco felt at ease because for once he was doing okay. He had someone to love and the fact that they loved him back, well that was extraordinary.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice on how to write a grieving character? Thank you!!

Hi!

Grieving isn’t pretty. It isn’t always dramatic, either – while some people certainly do go home and throw their favorite vase against the wall, some people retreat into themselves and become emotionally unresponsive (that’s what I do). Violence or anger is more likely to occur if the death is sudden – so is retreating into an emotional shell, really, because it’s often a result of shock. But both can occur outside of a sudden death – cancer isn’t always sudden, but many people still become angry when their loved one is diagnosed with or dies because of it. Basically, if the death feels unfair in any way – if it’s sudden, or if it feels like it happened too early, such as in the case of cancer or of some sort of cardiac disaster (a heart attack, a stroke, etc) – it’s more likely to provoke anger or shock, depending on your character’s temperament and attachment to the dying/dead character.

That was just a general disclaimer. Now, onto the meat of grieving!

Firstly, grieving can begin before the person is technically dead – you don’t have to wait for the person to go flatline and physically stop breathing for your other characters to feel a sense of loss. If your character suffered a medical disaster or an accident that rendered them comatose, or if your character is obviously fighting a losing battle (again, terminal cancer comes to mind), your other characters could start grieving them even though they’re still breathing and their heart is still beating. However, the likelihood is that your characters won’t be able to really start working through the five stages of grief until your character actually does physically die, because rarely does death really hit home until it has occurred.

Speaking of the five stages of grief, those are important! They’re as follows:

  • Denial/Isolation: your characters can’t believe your dead character is really dead. This is a defense mechanism of sorts for your mind – a way to delay at least some of the pain, and give yourself time to process what’s happened (although that processing happens subconsciously, because on the surface you’re denying that anything’s happened at all). If the dead character fought a long battle with an illness before death, this stage may be expedited by the fact that your characters had time to process the character’s dying as it was happening. If the death was sudden in any way, this stage may be prolonged, because it will be harder to comprehend something that happened so quickly, and shock will be more likely to occur.
  • Anger: the pain your characters were masking in the denial stage starts to come to the surface, and as a response to the pain, your characters get angry (just as many other vulnerable emotions, such as fear, are expressed as anger – anger is a tough emotion, as opposed to fear and grief, so most people subconsciously opt for anger because it makes them feel less vulnerable). They may feel they’ve been robbed of your dead character’s companionship. Their anger may manifest itself in many different ways: isolation, irritability, or self-destructive behavior, to name a few. Their anger may also direct itself at various places: the medical professionals who failed to save your dead character’s life, God for taking your dead character, even the dead character him/herself, if they could in any way be responsible for their own death (if they were driving intoxicated, if they never ate healthily and suffered a heart attack, etc.).
  • Bargaining: before death, this stage may manifest itself as “please God, just let them live and I’ll tithe my ten percent and go to church every Sunday”, or “please, [Dying character’s name], just hold on and get better and we’ll [do that thing the dying character has always wanted to do]”. (Keep in mind that most people have an astounding impulse to be religious during a time of crisis, whether they’ve been religious in the past or not.) After death, this stage may manifest itself in the “could’ve-should’ve-would’ve” philosophy: “if only we’d taken them to the doctor sooner”, “I should’ve made him stay home”, “I knew there was something wrong with him!”, and so on. This stage is generally an attempt to regain control of the situation – your characters feel like they’re taking some kind of action by offering a proposition, or by placing blame.
  • Depression: there are two types of depression associated with grief. In the first (which is almost more similar to anxiety) your characters worry more about others: what if I haven’t been there for people when they needed me, how are we going to pay for the funeral/burial services, and so on. Basically it deals more with the practical aspects of the character’s death. The second type is more introspective – your characters may retreat into themselves and analyze old memories of your dead character, and their feelings on everything that’s happened. This type is private, and your characters probably won’t share much about their thoughts if they experience it.
  • Acceptance: this stage is marked by withdrawal and calm – it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from depression. It’s not a stage of joyous frolicking and exclaiming, “It’s okay! I understand everything about [Dead Character’s] death!”. Your characters may still not understand the purpose of your dead character’s death, but understanding and acceptance are not synonyms, nor are they mutually inclusive. The important thing about this stage is that your characters can make peace with the death, and can move on.

Keep in mind that while I’ve listed these stages in what is regarded as their general order, every person (and character) grieves differently – they may experience these emotions in a different order than that above. They may also go through one or several of the stages more than once, or cycle through the first four of them multiple times before reaching the fifth. Some characters may not even reach the fifth at all – depending on the circumstances of the death and the character’s attachment to your dead character, they may never fully accept your dead character’s death. The stages above are just a general framework for grieving.

Also, keep in mind that if your character’s death was tied in any way to traumatic incidents for your other characters, it may complicate the grieving process for those other characters, because the character’s death will be tied to other painful or triggering memories.

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask. - @authors-haven

The Reader and the Writer (Part 2)

Originally posted by stydiaislove

Part one here

Anon requests: can you please do a part two of “The reader and the writer”? i’m shook, lost and now stressed over who she really is

The Reader and the Writer is amazingggg! Are u gonna do a part 2?? I wanna read more!!

could you do a part 2 of the reader and the writer, i’m obsessed!!!

Is there going to be a part 2 for The Reader and the Writer? Can there be a part 2? I loved it by the way :)

PART TWO OF THE READER AND THE WRITER PLEASE OMFG

Omigod, I love your Reader and Writer imagine soooooo much, are you going to write a part two??

OK PLEASE WRITE A PART TWO TO THE READER AND THE WRITER IS WAS SO GOOD!

Wtf?!? The reader and the writer is honestly amazing! I love it 😍 2pt maybe? I wanna know what happens with the reader and Jason

I love love love the reader and the writer, if you aren’t too busy could you please update it with a second part soon? I can’t bear to be left for days without knowing what Jughead found 😂 thanks x

Will there be a part 2 of “the reader and the writer”? Its really good! I hope you will write more of it!

I love this new jughead imagine ! Are you writing a part 2 ?

OH MY GOD PART 2 ASAP

I really love your writing! I’m very excited about part 2 for the Reader and the writer

part 2 of “The Reader and the Writer” ?? it’s greattt 😭

please do a part 2 of the reader and the writer!@@@ I need more!

Can you please do part two or the reader and writer?!?! It is so good!!

The reader and the writer was amazing and i got too attached. Part 2 please if you don’t mind.

Pairing: Jughead x Reader

Description: A confrontation ensues between the reader and the writer

Warnings: none

Word count: 887

A/N: I’m glad you guys liked the first part so much! Enjoy part 2!


(Y/N) didn’t return to Pop’s.  Every night, Jughead sat in his normal booth typing on his computer, but his eyes constantly flicked up towards the entrance.  His friends noticed his shift in attitude.

“Jug,” Archie sat across from him, “you gotta snap out of this.”

“Out of what?” Jughead asked monotonously, rolling his eyes.  “I’m fine, Archie.”

“I know you like to sit here and brood all mysteriously,” Veronica interjected, “but this is sad. Just call (Y/N).”

“(Y/N)?” he scoffed.  “This isn’t about (Y/N).”  When the entire table sent him disbelieving looks, he sighed and looked out the window.  “I already called her.”

“How many times?” Kevin asked with a smirk.  Jughead sighed again, refusing to make eye contact with anyone.

“Every night.” Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Kevin all shared a knowing glance.  “I know what you guys are thinking and no, it’s not like that.  I’m not some pathetically smitten person, okay?”

“Okay, Jughead,” Betty said, but rolled her eyes.  “If you insist.”


To say (Y/N) felt guilty would be an understatement.  From the moment she stomped out of that diner, regret gnawed at her inside out. Without the consistency of her nightly stops in Pop’s, she didn’t know what to do with herself.  She spent every night after school in her room sulking. Every night, her phone rang, lighting up with Jughead’s name.  She was tempted to answer it every night, her finger hovering over the answer button, but then she turned away and ignored his call.  (Y/N) missed Pop’s: she missed the delicious foods, the quiet yet comforting atmosphere, and the person who sat across from her in their usual booth.  


One day, Jughead sat with an uneaten burger in front of him, laptop closed.  Today had been an especially slow day, both in Jughead’s mind and Pop’s.  Suddenly, a jingle of the bell signaled that someone new entered the diner.  Jughead sat up a bit to see who it was.  When he identified the new customer, he perked up immediately.  Grabbing a book, he shot up and walked over to the table where she had just sat down.

“(Y/N) (Y/L/N),” he said, slamming down the book in front of her, “is an author from the 18th century.  She wrote four novels, all of them published under an alias at first.  It was not until two hundred years later that the true author was discovered.  She has been dead for over two hundred years, and she is most certainly not you.”  (Y/N) looked up at him with wide eyes.

“What, I can’t have the same name as someone else?” she fired back, but there was a waver in her voice. Jughead glared as he sat down across from her.

“You see, I would think that, too,” Jughead responded, his voice dripping with sarcasm, “but I searched for you online, and I couldn’t find anything on you.  Not one thing.”

“I like to keep my life private.  I don’t publish stuff about me online.”

“Yeah, but there’s something about everyone on the world wide web if you look hard enough,” Jughead explained, his voice accusingly sharp.  “Now I have two theories: one, you’re a very experienced hacker, and you’ve gone and wiped all information regarding you off the internet; or two, you’re hiding something, and you’re using a dead unpopular author’s name to keep your real identity a secret.  Personally, I’m choosing the latter, considering how well-read you are.”  (Y/N) stared at Jughead with sad, wide eyes.  “When were you going to tell me?”

“I wasn’t,” she whispered. Jughead clenched his jaw and shook his head.  

“Whatever,” he mumbled, standing up.  He began to walk away when (Y/N) shot up from her seat.

“I was born in Riverdale,” she called out to him.  Jughead stopped in his tracks and slowly turned around.

“What?”

“I was born in Riverdale,” she repeated slower.  Jughead neared the table and sat down across from (Y/N).

“So what?”

“So I-,” she started, “I can’t- I can’t just tell you everything.”  Jughead rolled his eyes and began to push his chair out when (Y/N) placed her hand on his, her eyes silently begging him to stay.  “If you care, you’ll trust me.”

“What makes you think I care?” Jughead demanded, and (Y/N) couldn’t help but notice how he didn’t move his hands out from under hers.

“Because you called?” she offered, causing Jughead to sit up a little straighter.  “You called me every night, Jug.”

“I was worried,” he muttered, looking away.  (Y/N) smiled, patted his hand, and stood up.

“Keep writing, Jughead. See you around.”  Spinning on her heel, (Y/N) grabbed her copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray and exited the diner.  Jughead’s eyes followed her figure out until the door closed behind her.  Then he pulled out his laptop and started to furiously type.

And so, a little light shined on the dark mystery of Riverdale’s (Y/N) (Y/L/N) like the calm before the storm.  The writer becomes the reader, the reader becomes the read.  I found myself hooked on her just from a little information, like a drug addict craving his fix.  New girls can never hide in a small town like Riverdale, but God, I knew (Y/N), in all her enigmatic splendor, would lurk in the shadows of this town for as long as she possibly could.”

Part 3 here   Part 4 here

The conversation between Amon and Touka says a lot about Touka and Kaneki

I really love the conversation between Touka and Amon, and it just about the fact that Amon has forgiven Touka and called her a kind person. Cause while that is great it also gave great insight into the relationship between Kaneki and Touka. I say this because of this panel right here with Touka giving advice to Amon on why he should still visit Akira.

This advice changes the entire dynamic of the conversation, as Touka tells him what she wants from Kaneki. Through this advice it makes Amon a surrogate for Kaneki’s feelings. This is because in many ways Kaneki and Amon have been parallels since part 1, and this conversation really shows it. Both Kaneki and Amon have spent years apart from someone that they cared for first without choice and then consciously. There situations mirror each other very closely, and even though they are reunited things between Touka and Kaneki have been awkward. But, I think that Amon’s dialogue on why he hasn’t seen Akira is great insight in why he has been avoiding his talk with Touka

Amon talks about the guilt about leaving someone wondering whether they were dead or alive for so long. Then on top of it they are not longer the same person they were when they left. Then Touka gives Amon the advice that just them coming back to them is enough, no matter what has happened.

I know this conversation wasn’t necessarily what people wanted but it’s great because in this one conversation we are given the thoughts and feeling of four characters. As Amon and Kaneki are parallels and I’m starting to believe that Akira and Touka are too. 

Season Four

CONS

  • Keith barely being in it
  • Lance and HUNK ESPECIALLY reduced to comedic relief
  • Shiro being an asshole
  • Narti is dead
  • Keith leaving was lazy writing
  • Hunk being reduced to a joke
  • Barely any interacting(shipping material)
  • Keith coming back after a season to save them IS SO LAZY
  • They literally reset all of the characters to their season 1 state but worse
  • Why did the black lion respond to Shiro?
  • Kolivan turned into an asshole?? I know that you gotta sacrafice for a mission, but I know he’s not that mean
  • Zarkon’s new suit is UGLY
  • Only plot
  • No character development
  • NONE AT ALL
  • MOVE ON
  • Shiro was a douchebag.

Pros

  • PIDGE WAS THE BEST PART I SWEAR
  • Lance’s aerial dancing
  • Keith in a blade uniform
  • MATTTMATTMATTMATTMATT
  • Some good Kallura
  • And allurance. Gooooooood shit.
  • Shatt hug
  • Coran and Pidge’s room
  • LOTOR’S ARM THING WITH THE CUFFS
  • MAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
  • The whole Matt’s grave scene
  • Lance is flexible
  • Group hug
  • HANCE CONTENT IS HERE
  • HANCE IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY
  • HANCEHANCEHANCE
  • Latte is also present
  • Lance/Hunk/Matt is also something I need
  • KEITH’S HOOD

((This isn’t all, but these are my first thoughts))

2

Cassian had been born for this.
These fields, this chaos and brutality and calculation.
Three soldiers were brave or stupid enough to try to charge him. Cassian had them down and dying with four maneuvers.

“Holy Mother,” I breathed.

That was who had been training me. Why Fae trembled at his name. Why the high-born Illyrian warriors had been jealous enough to want him dead.

OFF THE CUFF HOMESTUCK THOUGHTS #3: THE SELF PILE DOESN’T STOP FROM GETTING TALLER OR: THE PROBLEM OF DEAD MARIOS

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

[CHECK THE TAG FOR MORE THOUGHTS]

So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:

TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TG: maybe
TT: Maybe?
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TT: Ok.
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and still understand what we’re talking about.

This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.

I am dead serious.

Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.

Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had that conversation.

Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.

One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other choices.

Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.

SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity. It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones. Not the carapacians.)

Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.

Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get to do awesome things and be a heroic person.

Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance, SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.

The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about you at all.

SBURB does not care about you at all.

The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.

One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated. SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use them for a lot of different purposes.

There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings, kiddo.

To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died, there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person, like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.

The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.

John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?

Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?

There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate. Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and needs of the frog baby machine?

What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.

In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory. To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:

[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die, but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered “real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.

The big man hass the answer.

Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.

Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale, between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous, and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What meaning does victory hold if that is the case?

So, to put it in a nice thesis format:

One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?

What even is the self? Is there such a thing?

If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to be.

The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the bullshit of SBURB.

And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon. Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created, perpetuated, and ended by that same system.

Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made, which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.

I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that “everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See: Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme home.

Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the ending.

I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in, exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged nightmare that is Lord English.)  Can we even come up with a clear answer to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad? How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do they know if they’re in the right castle?

Um. Anyway—

Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from John ultimately any different?

Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)

Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?

(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction plz.)

And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got dropped at the last minute.

Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence, personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination. Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to achieve freedom.

I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly. Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB together, in finding a cathartic ending.  Once again, I wonder if something was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s kind of ambiguous.

You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia, you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it heaps upon you along the way.

This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a purrspective.

Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their experiences—character development being one of the things most people found most lacking in the ending.

NEXT TIME: All that wacky gnostic stuff probably

I just want to point out something to those of us who haven’t waited years between episodes of Sherlock. The time between Episode 3 and Episode 4 was two years, meaning fans had to wait TWO YEARS to find out what happened to Sherlock and John at the pool with Moriarty. There was a massive cliffhanger and then fans WAITED and then it turned out to be nothing of importance. What a let down! Oh but wait! That’s exactly what happened between episodes 6 and 7. Sherlock fell, but he survived somehow, and then fans waited TWO YEARS to find out how, but it didn’t matter how because the massive cliffhanger was nothing of importance. AND THEN they DID IT AGAIN between episodes 9, 10, and 11, spanning THREE YEARS and the Moriarty’s return massive cliffhanger turned out to be NOTHING.  

Keep reading

Destiny 2 Public Events

After explaining the Taken Blight PE, I figured I would make a post about all the Public Events and their Heroic Triggers! 

Public Events are the most rewarding activity in Destiny 2 currently outside of the Raid and Trials. They are quick, very accessible, and can reward handsomely. Each public event has a certain mechanic that triggers a Heroic event. 

The Heroic event has a slightly better chance at rewarding better loot. It will give you a little bit more XP towards milestones, and give you more tokens for your Faction during a Faction Rally. They are very worth doing.

Even if you don’t “complete” the event, you are still awarded a participation token for that planet’s faction.

Pro-tip: If you “Rally the Flag”, you get a full super charge, abilities recharge, and full ammo for all your weapons.


Cabal Lander

The little drill. You must stand in close proximity of the Lander to capture it as you fight off waves of Cabal forces. Capturing the Lander within time completes the event*

There will be missiles raining down on you occasionally. You can see where they will be landing via the big, glowing (and painful) beams that will light up the ground. Don’t stand there.

Heroic Trigger: A Thresher ship will fly in to defend the Lander after a percentage of the capture has been met (or it could be a timing thing). Destroying the Thresher will trigger the Heroic Event in which a Cabal Colossus will drop down into the fight. The Thresher will make 2-3 rounds usually, so you have a few tries to shoot it down. Defeat the Colossus within time to complete the Event. Capturing the Lander no longer matters.

*As long as you are in the capture point, even if time has run out, you can still fully complete the event. It will not end at the timer. Just be sure not to leave the capture circle until you hit 100%.


Injection Rig

The really big drill. Kill the three Psions that spawn plus the big Centurion within time to finish the event.

When the first Psion target dies, a dome will spawn around the Injection Rig that will remain for the rest of the event. The area inside of the dome will be ignited temporarily causing burning damage over time; the next Psion target will spawn after the area in the dome stops burning.

There are three Psions to kill. Once you kill all three, a Centurion Ultra will spawn. Killing him will end the event.

Heroic Trigger: The Injection Rig has three “levels” of vents you need to destroy. You will only have three attempts to destroy them. Ideally, you want to destroy at least one per burning phase but is possible to destroy two in one phase if you have enough Guardians shooting them. You will know when it is destroyed when you see it steaming. You only need to shoot at one per set of vents; each layer shares the damage. You have a very short amount of time to destroy these vents before they close back up. 

When the first Psion target dies, the air around you will start burning after the dome goes down, and a set of vents on the top of the rig will open up. Destroy those vents. When the second Psion target dies, a set of vents in the middle part of the rig will open up; destroy those. Finally, when the third Psion dies, there is ONE vent at the bottom of the rig (you will find it “underneath” the “body” of the rig; it’s the part that is digging into the ground). Destroying that vent will cause the Heroic event to trigger. All you need to do is kill the Centurion like normal to complete the event.


Hive Ritual

I believe this event only happens on the moon, Titan. When the event starts, two wizards (and a whole lot of Thrall and other ads) will come out of the doors; one left and one right. They will have shields that protect them from damage. Standing on the plates located in the room will take down their shields; the left plate taking down the left wizard’s shield, the right plate taking down the right wizard’s shield. Kill these Wizards; stepping off the plate will make their shield come back after a few seconds.

When these wizards are dead, a portal will open up. You don’t HAVE to stand on the plates at this point. After a few waves of hungry thrall, another Wizard will spawn through the portal. Killing this Wizard will end the event.

Heroic Trigger: When you spawn and kill the first two wizards, stay on your plates longer than usual. At the top of the two totems (the “frames” of the portal) is a crystal on either side. These Crystals will have shields on them that will go away when the plates are charged on either side (left crystal for left plate, right crystal for right plate). Shooting and destroying the Crystals will cause the portal to destabilize and spawn an axe-wielding Knight (think Alak-Hul, the Darkblade in TTK). Killing this Knight will end the event.


Fallen Supplies (Spider Walker)

Everyone is probably familiar with this one already. When the event starts, a Skiff will drop in a Captain and a few other Fallen ads. Killing the Captain will trigger the Fallen Walker to drop in from a Skiff (watch out for this). Shooting the Walker’s legs will cause it to be stunned for a good amount of time which exposes its core. Shooting the core does a lot of damage! You will probably repeat this 2 or 3 more times! Killing the Walker will end the event. Simple and easy!

Heroic Trigger: Probably the easiest to understand out of all public events. When the Walker is stunned, he will drop three spheres of Arc energy. Pick up these spheres and take them to the nearby consoles that are keeping those awesome Scorch Cannons** hostage. Deactivating both of them will bring down the barrier. Rinse and repeat for the other two set of consoles. When all three sets of Scorch Cannons have been unlocked, it will trigger a second Walker to drop in from a Skiff (again, watch out for this). Destroying the second walker will end the event.

**I have seen many times during this event that players will not hold down the charge for the Scorch Cannon. I assume these players are new, forgot, or stopped playing before House of Wolves (or just plain don’t care). When you hold down the trigger after firing a Scorch Cannon, the projectile will CHARGE UP several times, causing more damage to the target and everything around it.


Ether Supply (Excavation Crews)

Another very common and easy event! When this event starts, a group of Fallen Excavators plus other fallen ads will spawn, mostly compiled of Wretches and Marauders. 

You must kill four of the Excavators to proceed to the next wave of them. The first three will spawn as soon as they drill spawns, the fourth Excavator will be a Captain that will arrive after the first three Excavators are dead. Killing the Captain will progress you to the next wave located elsewhere on the map. You must do this three times! Upon the third completion, you will have completed the event!

Heroic Trigger: After killing a few of the Excavators, a tiny “drill” will appear off the side usually between two of the “wall” like structures that spawn with the glimmer drill. It’s a smallish object that looks it is sucking in Glimmer. Destroy this drill before killing the fourth Excavator! You don’t NEED to but it would make it easier for you later.*** When you destroy all three drills, this will cause the heroic event to trigger. 

This will cause the bigger Glimmer drill to crash and burn (do not stand too close when it does this). Now you have to stand ontop of a pile of Glimmer and capture it. The only real threat is an Ultra Wretch Captain. This captain does not NEED to be defeated to finish the event, but his death would make things a lot easier. Once the capture hits 100% before time runs out, the event will end.****

***If you kill the Excavator Captain before destroying the tiny drill, it will disappear to the next location but will not forfeit a Heroic trigger. When you move on to the next Excavation Site, two drills will spawn that need to be destroyed. And if you didn’t destroy the two drills at the second site, the third site will have three drills. Or if you destroyed one at the second site but not the other, the third site will still have two drills that need to be destroyed. As long as these all three drills are destroyed before the death of the final Excavation Captain, you can still do the Heroic version.

****Like the Cabal Lander event, as long as you are alive in the capture point even after the timer expires, the event will not end until you either leave the circle or hit 100%


Ether Supply (Fallen Servitor)

Shooting or getting close to the Servitor will trigger the event! This event is pretty straightforward: shoot the Servitor until it is dead within the time limit. Every once in a while, out of spite, the Servitor will teleport you randomly somewhere close by, sometimes out of the battle. Additionally, a smaller Servitor will occasionally spawn that protects the bigger Servitor from damage. Destroy the small Servitor to get rid of this invulnerability.

Heroic Trigger: You might trigger this accidentally while fighting the giant Servitor. When it spawns three smaller Servitors at the same time, destroying all three before they disappear will trigger the Heroic event. 

When this happens, he will be a very angry ball that will teleport you very high in the air. He is also a little tougher so damage won’t be as great as before! Killing the Servitor before time runs out will complete the event.


Taken Blight

Probably the most annoying public event of them all. When the Giant Taken Blight is formed, it will spawn Blight domes. Shooting the Blight inside the center of the dome will bring down the dome. Killing Taken forces will decrease the bigger Blight’s integrity. You need to bring down the integrity to zero before the timer runs out. When it reaches 0% it will teleport elsewhere on the map and reset the timer. You need to do this a total of three times, and the event will end!

Heroic Trigger: Easily the least known. I’m just gonna copy what I posted earlier…. The Blight domes that spawn (the ones that spawn with the enemies) will give you a buff if you enter it and then leave. This short buff will let you damage the BIG blight. Do enough damage, the Heroic will trigger and a Taken Ultra will spawn. Kill the Ultra before time runs out to complete the event!

Now, you don’t need to “kill” the big blight before the timer runs out on the first or second cycle. You have at least three chances to do enough damage. If you are running low on time during your first or second cycle, kill the enemies and move on. This will refresh the timer! It is almost impossible to do it by yourself, almost. (I hear through the grapevine that Wardcliff Coil will help with solo attempts).


Spire Integration

Not much has changed with this event since Destiny 1. You must stop waves of Vex from reaching the Conflux. Vex that have reached the Conflux have a handful of seconds before they integrate with it. You can still kill them before it counts off your total remaining integrations. Unlike Destiny 1, you can still get max rewards even if a few get by you! As long as 10 do not integrate, you are fine!

Heroic Trigger: If you look at the Conflux you are protecting, there are three trails of light coming out of it. Following those trails will lead you to a capture point (it might be hidden, getting close will reveal it). Capture all three points will trigger the Heroic event. The ending is the same: protect the Conflux from integrations until the timer has run out.

Chaos. Everywhere. More Vex will spawn and they just keep coming, a Hyrda Ultra will spawn, and two Cyclops will spawn. Cyclops should be dealt with quickly. Chaos.

mum

Sirius Black had always traveled to King’s Cross with incredible joy in his heart knowing that he wouldn’t have to return to Grimmauld Place, 12 for several months and that he wouldn’t see his family for a very long time. This was the first time Sirius had trouble getting out of his bed on 1st of September. He didn’t know how to explain it but it felt like a hippogriff was sitting on his chest making it hard to breathe.

“Padfoot,” sighed James. “If you make me miss the train, I will steal all of Remus’ chocolate and blame it on you and he will believe me.”

“Idunwanowunintmmawf,” said Sirius into his pillow. 

“I’m sorry, what?”

“I don’t want to run into my mother,” he replied sitting up realising he didn’t have the strength to deal with James Potter at the moment. 

“We will move quickly and we won’t see even a string of her hair,” smiled James. “That’s a promise, Pads.”

“But she will see us Prongs,” mumbled Sirius looking like a lost puppy. “That bitch has her ways, she always finds me and Regulus in the crowd.”

“Don’t be fucking ridiculous and get out of the bed” ordered James in return as he attempted carrying his trunk down the stairs for a second. “MUUUUUM can I locomotor my trunk dooooownn?”

“NO,” said Euphemia sternly from downstairs. “You’ll carry it down James and so will Sirius.”

“But muuuum-”

“James, dear, you are sixteen years old,” explained his mum like she was talking to a small child to make sure he doesn’t set the house on fire. “Stop acting like you are four or that girl you like so much won’t even look your way let alone like you. Independent women like grown men, not needy children.”

Euphemia Potter had a way with her son, she knew where all of his buttons were and how to push them just right because James Potter and his trunk were downstairs the Muggle way in a minute after the pep talk she had given. 

The breakfast was calmer than usual with Fleamont being at work and Sirius acting like he is half dead. When they were completely ready to floo themselves to the train station, Euphemia put her hand softly on Sirius’ shoulder, a kind of touch he wasn’t still used to after almost two months.

“Sirius,” began Euphemia. “What’s wrong? You know you can talk to me.”

“I just really don’t want to run into my mother,” confessed Sirius. “I’m scared of what she might do to you.”

James shook his head in disbelief, he found it hard to understand the irrational fear Sirius had. He knew Walburga was one disturbed woman but he also knew his mother shouldn’t be underestimated.

“Walburga should be scared of running into me,” said Euphemia half jokingly but James knew what would happen if they were to run into that woman. “I can handle him dear.”

Sirius nodded as convincingly as he could before he grabbed floo powder from the porcelain bowl standing next to the marble fireplace.

“King’s Cross,” he said clearly and he was gone with the green flames in seconds.

It didn’t take long for James and his mum to come with the flames. They hurried towards the Platform 9 ¾ with their trolleys and James ran face first into the wall just to disappear into thin air and then Euphemia and Sirius ran to the other side of the wall as well. 

Hogwarts Express was standing with all it’s crimson glory waiting for the students to get in to take them to Hogwarts. The three of them walked hastily to where the Marauders’ compartment was. They stood in front of the door to say their goodbyes.

“Be good,” said Euphemia. “I don’t want any letters from Minerva this year James.”

“Mum, you know I can’t promise anything.”

“Where did I go wrong while raising you?” she asked curiously. “Don’t answer that.”

“Sirius, write to me whenever you feel like it,” she reminded. “I’ll be expecting you home for Christmas, alright?”

“Yes, mum,” said Sirius and choked on his words almost instantly as a warm smile formed on Euphemia’s lips and James’ eyes lit up like they were fairy lights.

“Tsk tsk, Sirius,” came Walburga’s cold voice behind them. “We shouldn’t call blood traitors who didn’t give birth to us ‘mum’.”

It seemed like Sirius had shrunk in size as Euphemia stepped in front of him protectively.

“Tsk tsk Walburga,” she repeated. “We shouldn’t eavesdrop on conversations that aren’t ours and give opinions that no one asked for. He can call me ‘mum’ whenever he wants to, seeing that his actual mother is not available at the moment.”

Walburga made an attempt to grab Sirius by the wrist but Euphemia was agile for her age and she was holding onto Sirius’ wrist like he would die if she let go.

“You won’t touch my son and I’m not talking about James.”

“I suggest you stay out of this Euphemia, this is none of your business.”

“Oh, you made it my business when this boy showed up in my living room, barely breathing,” shot back Euphemia with all the rage that had been building up in her. Sirius was hiding behind her, careful not to catch Walburga’s piercing eyes.

“You are exaggerating,” she replied. “Nothing wrong with a little tough love.”

“I know an Unforgivable Curse when I see one Walburga,” she hissed just loud enough for people around them to hear, Walburga was turning purple with anger. “If I could, I would take Regulus from you, too, before he ends up dead from your tough love.”

“How dare you speak to me like that?”

“The same way you dare torture your children Walburga,” she said without blinking. “Now let go of my wrist and stay away from my sons.”

Sirius was trembling behind Euphemia who was standing like she was the queen of the universe, she didn’t move until Walburga Black turned around and left. 

“I told you I could handle her,” she said with a reassuring smile and caressed Sirius’ cheek softly. Sirius noticed the marks on Euphemia’s wrist then, burn marks like the long boney fingers of his mother. “As long as you got me, she can never come close to you and know that there’s nothing wrong with you calling me mum. Anyone would be proud to have you as a son and I am, too.”

“I- I can heal that if y-you want m-mum,” said Sirius, his voice shaking with the weight he was feeling on his shoulders. “I’ve- I’ve gotten pretty g-good with h-healing charms.”

“No Sirius, I can fix it. You forget you are not allowed to practice magic outside of Hogwarts,” she reminded and laughed a little. “It’s funny that a woman of her age is unable to control her magic like a toddler.”

Sirius’ eyes were still fixed on Euphemia’s thin wrist, his eyes filling up with the anger and sadness he was feeling. He lifted his eyes just a little to give a guilty look to James and saw his best friend smiling warmly down at him, he didn’t hide his pity but he didn’t have to. James always found it rather unlucky that Sirius ended up in such a messy family and never lied about how he felt about that situation, his pity was because he cared.

“Mum’s a big girl mate,” he said like he knew Sirius was about to spiral down and he needed someone to say something, anything. “She can take care of herself.”

“He is right, love,” nodded Euphemia. “Now, off you go, we don’t want you to miss the train because of something as unimportant and miserable as Walburga.”

“Just call her a bitch, mum.”

“James Fleamont Potter,” began Euphemia as she jokingly flicked her son’s arm. “You kiss me with that mouth and you will stop saying that word, even though some people deserve it, or so help me Merlin I’ll ground you until the end of time.”

“Okay, okay,” surrendered James. “I’ll just call her a goblin.”

“That’s my boy,” she replied and the spark came back to Sirius’ grey eyes. Euphemia hugged both of them and gave them loud kisses before she pushed them towards the train. “Don’t forget to write to me when you get there.”

“Sure, mum,” said Sirius with a grin before he was dragged away by an over eager James.