I’d figured it out fourth year. I’d started getting hungrier, all of a sudden- started feeling urges I hadn’t felt since I was eleven.
“Vampire puberty” had hit me at eleven years old, consisting of terrifying cravings of blood and a constant longing that never left. This was particularly bad timing, as I was just about to start Watford, and my family was afraid of me possibly losing control. I could’ve not gone to Watford at all that year, saving myself a million problems to come, but I went anyways, insistent and stubborn.
That had been a bad time. Constant thirst made me cranky- crankier than I usually was, anyways. And being around Simon Snow made me absolutely insane.
It was his magic. Not only was I hungry for his blood, but his magic- it drew me to him constantly, like I needed to be around him, like I needed it, like he was this sun of energy and I was an orbiting planet…
And he said, when we first met, mildly, “How did you do that?”
I looked down to where he was pointing, and it was a simple Stick with It spell- I’d attached my notebook to the side of my bag, since there wasn’t enough room to fit it into the internal space.
And I looked back at Simon in disgust, hungry, cranky, wanting him, wanting his blood, wanting to drink his blood, and his magic, his crackling, electrifying, overflowing, spilling sparkling magic…
And I remembered who he was.
Who the Mage was.
And who I was.
And how this idiot- this Normal- waltzed in, Mage by his side, an avalanche of stupid dynamite magic at his command, and no fucking idea how to use it.
This is not how it was supposed to be. Old Families knew. Magician families knew. We knew how to be safe.
And he didn’t.
And all of this, this realization that came with a simple question and knit eyebrows, it washed over me alongside overwhelming hunger-
And I snapped, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
Snow had startled, narrowed his eyes, and I had walked away. That was a bad first impression, but it didn’t have to be like that. I know that we could have fixed it. We could’ve made nice, I could’ve stopped being such an asshole, Snow could’ve forgiven me. Possibly. But I just… couldn’t. I couldn’t be that friendly person. Because every time he was near me, it was the same rolling avalanche of emotional burden. It was the same nebula of a headache that drove me to near insanity. His stupidity, his name, his connection to the mage, his magic, and his blood. All pounding on me. All screaming for my attention.
And he was always around me.
And it just stuck. It wasn’t as though I turned into anyone different- I was always cynical, biting, dry, even as a kid. Always had been, since seeing Mom that day. So it wasn’t like I was a changed person, it was just that around Simon, the worst parts of me came out- lashing, poisonous, childish and uncontrollably immature.
And I was a Pitch. And he was a… Whatever he was. An Other. An Outcast. Not an ally of mine.
He was the Mage’s secret weapon.
Even if I had been perfectly polite to him in the beginning, and we became friends, it would have never worked out.
My family had never been friendly towards the Mage and his political allies, but when I got home that summer, they didn’t bother to mask it. They had near declared war.
And I was to take Snow down, somehow.
So I tried. For a while. Second and third year, there were constant tryings. I remember releasing a chimaera, luring him out into the merwolves moat, sending him into The Woods. Always, his stupid magic, a stupid burst of magic ready to save him, setting him off and nearly taking me with it.
And then, fourth year, after a few more weak tries, I’d noticed it.
baz insists that cherry has to learn how to play an instrument but he lets her choose whichever she wants
they didn’t expect her to choose violin but she did because “i see daddy playing it all the time and i want to learn too”
baz sets out to find the best violin teacher for her
simon and baz going to a music store and picking out a violin for cherry
simon and baz debating on superficial and silly things like slight variations of the colors of different violins while cherry wanders off into the corner and points at a bright green toy violin screaming that she wants that one
later on baz will come and help cherry with her practice- showing her the fingerings and demonstrating different songs for her so she knows how they sound
simon nagging cherry to practice
simon and baz watching her play at her concerts when she’s all dressed up and well practiced in her repertoire
“You could be great, Simon,” the Humdrum says, voice smooth as honey. Like a siren’s song, Simon thinks dazedly.
“You know it, Simon,” the Humdrum whispers. “All the power in the world. You could have everything at the slightest flick of your fingertips. You would never have to want for anything again.”
He shakes his head, once, twice, thrice, like there’s water in his ears and he’s trying to get rid of it. The Humdrum’s face is outlined in the dim light, the shadows of the leaves overhead cutting across his face like sharp, dark blades, swaying back and forth, almost hypnotic.
The Humdrum’s voice is everywhere, ringing in his ears, echoing in his brain. Simon’s hand shakes, and then he feels it - tendrils of magic snaking their way around him, slipping into his mind, trying to scramble everything he’s ever believed.
It hurts, he registers dimly, and the Humdrum smiles a lovely, brilliant smile. “Doesn’t it?”
Guess what: Simon Snow is NOT actually Harry Potter!
There is still a lot of buzz going on in some parts of the fandom that think that the Simon Snow book series (fictional - FICTIONAL - within the universe of the young-adult novel “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell) is actually Harry Potter in disguise. Some people think that Rainbow really intended it to be Harry Potter but couldn’t explicitly write that because of copyright issues (if she would really write the same story as Rowling’s and just change the character’s names, it would be plagiarism) but that is simply NOT RIGHT!
First, Rainbow herself stated that: “I intentionally set up the Simon Snow story so that it would take up the same place in Cath’s world as the Harry Potter series does in ours. (That let me make lots of fandom jokes and references.). But the characters and plots are different. Simon isn’t Harry, and Baz isn’t Draco or Snape (or Edward)”.
And to prove that, she is releasing her fifth book, titled Carry On (yes, a reference to the fanfic in “Fangirl”) in October, and it will be set in the Simon Snow universe. I guess we’ll get the verdict if J. K. Rowling sues Rainbow after that, which is highly improbable, because IT ISN’T PLAGIARISM, it’s just a metaphor!
And if you pay attention to the plot while reading Fangirl, there are a lot of facts that state that Simon Snow obviously couldn’t be Harry Potter, such as:
1) At some point of Fangirl, Rainbow EXPLICITLY references Harry Potter. That kind of just ruins the whole theory of anyone believing she was trying to get away with writing about Harry in her book.
2) If you would relate the characters of both universes, Simon would be Harry, Baz would be Draco, Penelope would be Hermione, the Mage would be Dumbledore and the Hundrum would be Voldemort, but none of those actually fit in such way that you could say they are copies of each other. For instance, it is stated that the Mage is actually Simon’s father - Dumbledore isn’t Harry’s father AT ALL. The Hundrum appears as a younger version of Simon himself - Voldemort never did that. There is absolutely no character to compare to Ron (who plays a vital role throughout the HP series. It would make no sense to leave him out), and, as long as I remember, Draco Malfoy is not a vampire.
3) Due to the fact that Simon’s love interest is Agatha, you would think she could compare to Ginny Weasley, but during the excerpt of the eight and final book of the Simon Snow series that we have in the end of Fangirl, it is stated that she is also Baz’s love interest. Harry and Draco never fought over the same girl at any point in the series - they didn’t even talk about girls, they were too busy hating each other. So nope, Agatha is not Ginny (in fact, she seems way cooler than Ginny lol).
4) Draco’s mom was never Headmistress of Hogwarts (okay, this is indeed a fact that Cath wrote about in her fanfic, but it is never stated if she really made up that information or took it directly from the official Simon books).
5) Draco and Harry were never roommates, as were Baz and Simon.
6) Also in the except of Simon Snow and the Eight Dance, we see that Simon and Baz end up taking the same side in the final battle against the Hundrum. That did not happen to Harry and Draco during Deathly Hallows.
So there you have it. Rainbow wasn’t copying Rowling, she was making parallels and references to add to the dynamics of her own book. And, the way I see it, she did that so the young readers of Fangirl would be able to better understand and picture the impact that the Simon Snow series had on Cath - because a vast majority of them are also readers of Harry Potter in the real world.
In case that’s not simple enough, it’s basically that: within the (fictional) universe of Fangirl, both series coexist, but it’s implicit that Simon is more successful than Harry (the same way that, in our universe, HP and Percy Jackson coexist, and although both are widely successful, Harry is the most successful.)
(Also, I saw someone make a review of Fangirl saying that Baz was Ron, and that’s proof that a lot of people are getting EVERYTHING wrong lol).