end of holidays : (

procraesthetics  asked:

I wonder what would happen if Dudley grew up in the wizarding world but still as a muggle? like kind of reverse AU where his parents are dead and he has to go to Lily for whatever reason? do you think he would become bitter like Petunia about magic?

Lily remembered her sister, how there had been a time she was curious and delighted about magic, before it slowly sank in that she could look and not touch.

The last thing Petunia had said to Lily before she died was a chilly goodbye, ending a holiday dinner where they’d had a shrieking row in the entryway. Petunia had said freak and Lily had hissed better than this, better than this being my whole fucking world, Tune, do you even see yourself, are you happy–

And now here was Dudley Vernon Dursley fussing himself to sleep as Lily walked the halls of the Godric’s Hollow house. His tiny soft hands with their tiny soft fingernails curled under her chin, the same way Harry always had.

She passed James, who was gently bouncing his way up the hall the opposite way. “I think he’s asleep,” James mouthed over Harry’s tousled head. His hair was the same mess, bent down to peer at his sleeping son.

Lily stopped where she stood, her nephew heavy on her chest, her husband smiling, her sister buried. “James,” she said. “How are we going to do this?”

“Oh,” he said. “Hey. Don’t you cry, you’ll start them off– unless you need to cry, I mean, you go ahead, hey, sweetheart, hey, it’s alright, you just let it out.” He stepped forward, shifting Harry gently to his other shoulder, and pressed his forehead to hers. “We tuck them in, okay, that’s what we do next. Then we go to our own bed, okay, and go to sleep, and when we wake up it’ll be a new day.”

“A new day,” she said. “Another day– James, that’s the– I’m so tired.”

“So let’s sleep. It’ll look better in the morning,” he said. “And if it doesn’t look better this morning, it’ll look better in the next one.”

“You promise?”

“Better than that. I’ll show you. Every day,” he said and kissed her cold forehead.

Dudley had not shown up on the Potters’ doorstep with the milk bottles. Lily had gotten a phone call from the landline she still had installed in Godric’s Hollow, about an accident, and she had gone down to the Muggle police station to identify the bodies.

The cupboard under the stairs was filled with spiders, broomsticks, and the sewing machine Lily’s mother had given her when she married James– that’s all. Dudley slept downstairs. Uncle Remus taught Dudley and Harry to knock out coded messages through the wall their rooms shared.

In the backyard, beside a rickety porch and an ambitious hedge, James taught them to fly– first on little tot brooms where their toes brushed the grass the whole time, then out of the barrels of practice brooms James used for lessons and coaching Little League Quidditch.

When the boys turned ten, five weeks apart, they both got shiny new Nimbuses on Dudley’s birthday (which came first), and a set of enchanted Quidditch balls on Harry’s, to share. The Bludgers were enchanted to be very kind but Dudley spent long afternoons whacking them far afield while Harry chased the Snitch at his back.

Harry had a scar on his forehead, like a jagged bit of lightning. Dudley had no scars– the car crash that had killed his parents hadn’t touched him where he sat strapped into a car seat in the back, chewing on a stuffed dinosaur toy.

Lily did not believe in lying to the children. She was bare years off being a child herself, and spare moments on the far side of a war. When Dudley asked about his parents, she told him there had been an accident. She pulled pictures off the shelf and wrote Petunia’s old university friends for more.

Photographs came by mailman, the images still and unnatural to Dudley’s eye. Every day he’d gone out to play, for years, he’d been waving at the picture near the back door of his aunt and uncle on their wedding day, and they waved back every time.

“She was very clever,” Lily said. “Your mom liked to know everything.”

“And my dad?”

“Vernon liked… cars?” James offered. “That’s the word, right, Lily?”

“I didn’t know him very well,” Lily said. “He liked drills, I think; he worked for a firm that made them, and he talked about that a lot.”

Dudley brushed his thumbs over the dull edges of the photos. When Lily went off to Auror headquarters the next morning for work, James bundled the boys up and took them on an impromptu invisible tour of Grunnings Drill Manufacturing Inc.

They tiptoed down halls and past water coolers and ringing fellytones. They held hands under the Cloak as they dodged around the machines on the manufacturing floor, thumping and pounding and whirring away loudly enough that Harry and Dudley could whisper to each other under the noise. An elevator took them all the way up to the top floor. Harry whistled cheerily and eerily along with the elevator music while the Muggles slowly edged toward the doors and pressed floor buttons lower than they’d originally wanted.

There were boxes and cabinets and folders and desks and staticky monitor screens full of numbers strewn in endless grids. “Merlin’s knuckles,” said Harry, who was seven and a half and rather proud of this expletive. “People can look at this all day, their whole lives, and not die?”

“Work is hard work,” said James.

“At least mum gets to curse things.”

“But my dad liked it?” Dudley said, peering at a white board that was bleeding enthusiastic marker. “There’s a lot of things, here. Maybe he liked knowing things, too.”

When the boys asked about the scar on Harry’s forehead, Lily and James looked at each other. “You know how sometimes we sit with Uncle Remus and talk about a war?” James said. “Or with Ms. Amelia or Mr. Mundungus.”

“Mr. Mundungus is kinda smelly,” Harry said helpfully.

“It’s not nice to say so though,” said James, and Lily made a face.

“Are we raising them to be nice?” Lily said.

“I’m trying,” said James.

“You talk about a war,” said Harry and shrugged. Dudley nodded.

“There was a very bad man, in those days,” said James.

“Voldemort,” said Lily, and James made a face.

“He was so scary a lot of people don’t like to say his name, even now,” said James. “And he was coming after us because we had been fighting against him, in the war. He came to the house and he tried to hurt you, Harry. But it didn’t work. It hurt him instead, and gave you that scar.”

“Is he going to come back?” said Dudley, who was paler than his normal pink.

“No one’s heard of him since then,” said Lily.

“Where were you?” said Harry, because all his life they had been right there.

“Oh,” said Lily, but her throat closed up.

“We were at Dudley’s mum and dad’s funeral,” said James. “Our friend– our friend Sirius was watching you two. The bad man, he came to the house. He. Well. I.”

“Sirius died,” said Lily, one hand squeezing James’s knee and the other reaching down to brush hair off Dudley’s forehead. “You lived, Harry, and Voldemort vanished. And that’s why sometimes people stare in the streets, baby.” James tweaked Harry’s collar absently.

Two days after they had buried Lily’s sister, the Potters had stood together in the first chills of November and buried James’s brother.

Sirius had been burned off the Black family tree years before. Lily and James had talked to his cousin Andromeda, to Remus, and then they had laid him to rest in the Potter family plot. At the wake, they’d told old jokes about squirrel breath, shedding, and man’s best friend. Remus had fallen asleep on their couch and stayed for a month.

It took a two hour row with HR for Lily to get two passes to the Ministry’s Bring Your Kid To Work Day.

“He’s a Muggle.”

“He’s not,” Lily snapped. “He’s family.”

She had to get permission, sign a million forms, and she also had to take the boys in early so that Dudley could get smothered in the spells that would keep the Anti-Muggle wards around the Ministry from activating on him. “If a Muggle stumbles in somehow, they just see a funny-smelling supply cabinet and turn back around,” Lily told Dudley. He nodded and dragged Harry off by the wrist to go look at the fountain.

The windows were pouring sunlight into the underground room– the maintenance workers had just gotten a win on their contract negotiations and had banished the grimy rain-spattered windows of the previous weeks. The light hit the falling water, the golden statues, and the small excitable crowd of Ministry dependents who were gathering in the atrium. Dudley was fishing about in the fountain for Knuts to toss back out again, elbow-deep, and Harry was laughing and coming up with weird wishes to make on them.

Lily hadn’t said son. She’d said family, and that was true enough, wasn’t it? She didn’t say son– she had a son, and she had a nephew, a ward, another child who came to her after nightmares and scraped knees. It was not less, it was just words.

Lily worried about stealing more things from Petunia. Tuney had shrieked at her, in ladies’ restrooms and suburban foyers, had hissed at her in grocery store aisles and family dinners, because Lily got everything. And now Lily had her son.

Lily could just imagine it– could just see Petunia’s face twisting and chin stabbing at the air. You could have anything, and you took my son– my son!

“You left him to me,” Lily whispered, but that wasn’t quite right. “You left,” she whispered, and that wasn’t quite right either, so she strode off toward the fountain to ask the boys if they wanted to go see the Auror spellwork ranges. Dudley’s sodden shirt sleeves dripped all over the Ministry floors. Harry’s hair fell down into his eyes and they both grinned bright enough to rival the spelled sunlight.

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washingtonpost.com
Opinion | What happened when an Orthodox Jewish congregation went to a gay bar to mourn Orlando
The Orlando attack fell during Shavuot, a joyous Jewish holiday.

When our synagogue heard about the horrific tragedy that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it was at the same time that we were celebrating our festival of Shavuot, which celebrates God’s giving of the Torah.

As Orthodox Jews, we don’t travel or use the Internet on the Sabbath or on holidays, such as Shavuot. But on Sunday night, as we heard the news, I announced from the pulpit that as soon as the holiday ended at 9:17 p.m. Monday, we would travel from our synagogue in Northwest Washington to a gay bar as an act of solidarity.

We just wanted to share the message that we were all in tremendous pain and that our lives were not going on as normal. Even though the holiday is a joyous occasion, I felt tears in my eyes as I recited our sacred prayers.

I had not been to a bar in more than 20 years. And I had never been to a gay bar. Someone in the congregation told me about a bar called the Fireplace, so I announced that as our destination. Afterward, I found out it was predominantly frequented by gay African Americans.

Approximately a dozen of us, wearing our kippot, or yarmulkes, went down as soon as the holiday ended. Some of the members of our group are gay, but most are not. We did not know what to expect. As we gathered outside, we saw one large, drunk man talking loudly and wildly. I wondered whether we were in the right place. Then my mother, who was with me, went up to a man who was standing on the side of the building. She told him why we were there. He broke down in tears and told us his cousin was killed at Pulse. He embraced us and invited us into the Fireplace.

We didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out that we had so much in common. We met everyone in the bar. One of the patrons told me that his stepchildren were actually bar-mitzvahed in our congregation. Another one asked for my card so that his church could come and visit. The bartender shut off all of the music in the room, and the crowd became silent as we offered words of prayer and healing. My co-clergy Maharat Ruth Friedman shared a blessing related to the holiday of Shavuot, and she lit memorial candles on the bar ledge. Then everyone in the bar put their hands around each other’s shoulders, and we sang soulful tunes. After that, one of our congregants bought a round of beer for the whole bar.

Everyone in the bar embraced each other. It was powerful and moving and real and raw.

After that we moved to the outdoor makeshift memorial service at Dupont Circle. There, too, we did not know what to expect. But as we gathered around the circle, people kept coming up to us and embracing us. One man we met there told us that his daughter sometimes prays with us. Others were visiting from Los Angeles but joined in full voice, clearly knowing the Hebrew words to the song we were singing.

As we were singing, I looked over at some gay members of our congregation and saw tears flowing down their faces. I felt the reality that we are living in a time of enormous pain. But I also felt that the night was a tremendous learning experience for me. I learned that when a rabbi and members of an Orthodox synagogue walk into a gay African American bar, it is not the opening line of a joke but an opportunity to connect; it is an opportunity to break down barriers and come together as one; it is an opportunity to learn that if we are going to survive, we all need each other.

I don’t think this article got very much traction last year, but I wanted to share it again.

Somewhat loosely based on Chapter 14 of World’s End Holiday. PLEASE GO GIVE IT A READ GUYS \o/

cropped this from the original size (A5) because it lost the focus on Yuuri and Viktor otherwise. Oh well. And how to draw the characters older. And how to draw proper bionic hand without actually extending it to elbow part. e__e’

Cross-post: Twitter

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Ranwu Lake Campsite by Xiao Yin Architecture Design Firm

The campsite is located in Lare Village, Ranwu Lake. Its north is the winding G318, and its south is the dreamland Ranwu Lake. The campsite is the best spot for self-drive travelers to stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Ranwu Lake. The campsite is high in the north and low in the south, with maximum altitude difference of 13 meters. The terrain slopes gently and is broad with a spectacular field of view. There are green grass and ancient trees beside the lake, green pine trees and azalea flowers on the mountainside, and blue sky and floating clouds above the mountains.

With a total project area of about 70 mu, Phase 1 Project uses an area of 2,400 square meters, and is composed of integrated service center, 9 high-end holiday hotel buildings, bar, tea bar, Tibetan specialty exhibition and sales center, BBQ buffet, medical assistance center, star-rated bathroom facilities, tent camping, 176 car parking lots, 5 tour bus parking lots, 7 RV parking lots, etc.

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happy holidays, mysme fandom!

hey i just wanted to say that if you’re already scraping by to make ends meet, the holidays are really hard. and that puts pressure on you and on your whole family. and if there’s one thing i hope you know it’s that you don’t need to prove you love someone by buying them something. i know we all want to get the people we care about really fancy things. but i’m okay if you get me like a smooth rock you found by the ocean. i know it’s true of other people, too. i’d rather you hand me a diy picture frame from popsicle sticks than something you had to go into debt to buy, and i think any person who’s worth their socks will tell you the same thing. and on that note? everybody loves socks, and they’re pretty cheap. yes, it’d be great if you and i stumbled on enough money to actually afford things. but love, i’ve learned, isn’t about the buying.

and on that note? for those of you out there who find the holidays a particularly dark time… i hope you know there will always be someone willing to open the door for you. even when it feels like there’s no one. even if that door is a window you have to crawl through. 

and for those of us who have more than we need, i hope we open those doors. if you notice someone who is going to be alone during the holidays, or who is usually depressed but for no apparent reason seems markedly happy and is giving away their things, please invite them over. hang out with them, no matter how awkward it is. sudden cleaning and long notes about how much they love you are also signs of suicide. with recent changes in insurance, it’s increasingly harder to find mental health care, so help a friend out (and maybe even yourself!) by figuring out who still takes the insurance offered so we can all give ourselves the gift of coping mechanisms, the gift that keeps on giving.

i hope you all are happy and safe this season!