Quick introduction to my favorite, ridiculous, super #extra OC, Aaron Finch-Dursley.
Aaron Finch is the Muggle older brother of Justin Finch-Fletchley.
The brothers were really close as kids, though Aaron is two years older. Their parents divorced when the boys were six and four, and their mother was remarried by the next year. Their stepdad Alan Fletchley is a better dad than their own, so much so that he offers his last name to both boys to make it official. Justin, remembering less of their biological dad, adds it to his name. Aaron chooses not to, but still loves him as much as he loves their mom.
Had Aaron attended Hogwarts, he would have been Sorted Hufflepuff before the hat even settled on his head. He’s kind, patient, and fair enough to rival Helga herself.
It takes hard work and patience for Justin to be able to explain everything he experiences at Hogwarts and in the Wizarding World, but he is true, loyal, and unafraid of the toil of writing out long, detailed letters. It’s harder than one might think to contextualize everything about Hogwarts, to convey the scale of the moving staircases, the history and mentality of the House Elves, Dumbledore’s omniscience, the Transfiguration coursework. Understanding it all is hard sometimes even for Justin, who lives it every day, but all the same, it just doesn’t seem fair to keep Aaron out. The only time Aaron ever sees Hogwarts is during Justin’s second year, when the family is allowed to visit him in the hospital wing after he’d been Petrified.
That’s when he suddenly gets it - understands why Justin loves this world so much, and is able to get a clearer picture in his head of what the life of a wizard is even like.
He has a pretty normal Muggle upbringing, though admittedly he does spend it at Eton. He has a close-knit group of friends that he grows up with, and gets on with nearly everyone around him. He never focuses too much on the coursework, it seems secondary anyway. He befriends the friendless, protects the helpless, and somehow seems to remain on good terms with everyone.
When he comes out as gay when he’s sixteen, not one person is surprised, but everyone is as accepting as he could have asked them to be. He takes to dating wizarding boys off from Hogwarts for the summers. Eaton is such a dreadfully small dating pool.
When Justin comes back from his sixth year at Hogwarts, saying that he won’t be able to return the next year because of highly anti-muggleborn sentiments, Aaron is secretly - shamefully - a little bit relieved. It’s gotten more and more dangerous each year, and if the newspaper is to be believed, the ensuing year in full out war would be even worse.
When a letter from a Muggleborn friend of Justin’s warns that members of Dumbledore’s Army are going to be hunted down more viciously than other Muggleborns, Justin decides to move to America rather than go into hiding. He has some friends help him put wards over their family home to keep their parents safe.
Since he’s taking a gap year anyway, Aaron tags along. They get a flat in Boston with a couple of roommates - a set of American twins, one witch and one Muggle - and learn the Muggle and Wizarding area surrounding.
Aaron enrolls in some classes, and does some volunteer work to figure out what he wants to do with the the rest of his life - and ends up settling on an education major. He’s always liked school and thinks sixth form might be ideal to teach - he’ll be able to do some good with kids that age, he decides.
He decides to take his actual credits when they get home. Justin seems to think that the tension is going to break any week now, and he can give his all in the final battle and then return back to normal life and Hogwarts like he never left it.
Eventually, he gets a letter from the Muggleborn kid he was Petrified with - Colin - saying that it’s going to happen in a matter of days. They return home, and Justin goes to fight. Aaron and his mother stay the entire night in the Three Broomsticks, under the care of Madame Rosmerta, with some other Muggles whose loved ones are in danger. It’s the worst night of either of their lives.
But then the war is over, and Justin returns to Hogwarts - to the anxiety of the whole family. Aaron enrolls in university to work towards his teaching degree. Life settles back into what it used to be, even though he still feels stuck in an odd position on the fringes of wizarding society.
One day, during a summer that feels particularly fortuitous with its Muggle and Muggleborn-friendly legislature and new Ministry programs, Justin drags Aaron to a shop in Diagon Alley.
Aaron is a little overwhelmed by all the overt wizardingness of it all. He feels a little like he’s missing pieces he should know in order to exist comfortably in this spaces. “God,” he says to Justin, after nearly knocking over a display. “They shouldn’t let Muggles in here.”
A low slow voice from behind him says, “You wanna say that again?”
He turns. The guy is cute, smiling a little, and wearing a smock that matches the logo on the outside of the store.
Aaron backpedals frantically. “No no no, I mean - I’m not, I was being - I’m a Muggle.”
The guy grins. “Yeah, I know. Me too. I heard you ask how many Knuts to a pound.”
“And I suppose you know? Justin is bloody useless and couldn’t tell me.”
“God, no. I wish we were using pounds. I promise I know less than your boyfriend does,” the guy says, a question in his voice.
“My brother, actually,” Aaron corrects with a smile.
“I’m, uh, Dudley.”
They learn each other slowly. Dudley is hesitant to show the parts of himself he’d been hiding since the beginning of the war, hesitant to open up about his past, hesitant to let himself be loved. Aaron, though, is patient. And loyal, when he learns the truth.
They adapt to the two worlds together, living mostly Muggle, although Aaron does help Dudley reconnect with Harry after a few years. It’s rocky, but the fact that Ginny and Aaron become fast friends - and both really want their respective partners to have peace - really helps.
Aaron finishes his degree, and lands a teaching position in a suburb of London. He enjoys his job teaching history and government, and tries to teach his students to view the world with fairness and patience.
Dudley gets a data entry job at a firm partnered with Grunnings.
They rent a little house together, with a garden for Dudley and a huge kitchen for Aaron. Justin, still healing and helping his friends heal, is in and out of their guest room for a number of years, still trying to get back on his wizarding feet and figure out where he fits in the new order of things. When he finally gets a job and his own appartment, Dudley helps Aaron throw a housewarming party for him and some old school friends.
Aaron does most of the household chores, and most of the cooking - some of Dudley’s leftover spoiled child habits spill over into his adult life, after all - but he’s okay with it. It makes him feel in control of his life, quiet and safe and secure.
They have their issues, of course: Dudley has food issues that never quite dissipate, and lots of leftover guilt from his childhood. He has some sort of crisis about every other week about whether he deserves this or that good thing. His testy relationship with his parents and his cousins cause unnecessary tension in their lives. Aaron has unrealistic expectations - he thinks life is beautiful and is very comfortable with his place in it, and gets a little uncomfortable when that belief is shaken. He takes on the problems of his friends and family, too, and doesn’t notice the amount of stress he puts on himself that way until it culminates in him blowing up. They work through these things, though, and they’re happy.
Dudley proposes on the spot one night in their living when Aaron mentions wanting kids during a football match commercial. He hadn’t had a ring or a plan, but it worked out fine. Aaron said yes, and within a year, they were married in a little civil partnership ceremony in the Fletchley’s back garden. Petunia Dursley cried through the whole thing, Vernon Dursley harrumphed uncomfortably at their kiss, but Harry (and his friend Hermione, since Ginny was on off flying for her team) wished them well. As a joke, Aaron throws a bouquet off one of the tables. Justin’s friend Hannah catches it, and her date’s face turns crimson, making Aaron smile proudly.
Their surrogate, Jessica, is a dream, and Aaron’s life changes forever the first time he holds little Myna Jean Dursley in his arms. He cannot imagine, in that moment, ever doing anything besides that, besides holding his daughter and watching her breathe. The feeling isn’t any less strong a year and a half later when he holds Rhea for the first time, although he’s wiser now, and knows the road he has ahead of him.
Fatherhood suits him quite nicely, him and Dudley both, and their little family is just about as happy as can be.
There more to him, of course, and I’m probably going to start mentioning him on this blog fairly regularly, but I’ll link back to this post so people don’t think they’ve forgotten about a canon character, haha. If you’re wondering about a visual, Ross Marquand is a great face-cast.
4th of July = Cap’s birthday right?
He was born in 1918
So he’s 99 now (2017)
When is Avengers : Infinity War due to be released? Next year (2018)
Call me crazy and whatever
But we’ve all heard that Chris Evans’ contract may or may not end next year as he only signed for one more movie and it’s all up to him whether he wants to extend his contract with MARVEL or not. Like what RDJ did. (Yay to RDJ 💕)
So this is legit guys
It’s not a drill
Captain America’s life is in Chris Evans’ hands now
If Chris decides to extend the contract we might be able to see Chris as Cap or just Steve Rogers in future MARVEL movies (as what he told everyone, he wants to play Cap forever omg my heart God i kent ㅠㅠ) those includes both parts of Infinity War.
IF Chris decides to NOT prolong his contract then Captain America will ‘retire’ at the age of 100.
And you guys know which 'retire’ I am referring to.
There has been some theories going around and this might be it.
FUCK IF THIS HAS BEEN A CONSPIRACY SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING I’LL BE SUPER PISSED OFF AND I’LL HAVE TRUST ISSUES FOREVER
Hi guys! Just wanting to say hi now that I’m home. I missed you all!
Warnings: Angst-trash and the slightest reference of depression.
Just breathe and let go.
I hold on tighter.
Breathe; just breathe and let go. He told me to. He was teaching me to.
He seemed to be the only light on in the room. He walks in so slowly, palms facing me as if to say he’s unarmed. He always walked in so warily and brought in with him a sense of peace and ease. I want to stand up and snatch him, pulling into me all that sense of peace and ease. I wanted to revel in it, engulf the ease he bought with him. I wanted to drink it; drink him. I wanted him. I think I need him.
He was so light. Like Winter-chill easing into Autumn-leaves and orange tinted grey pavements. His touch was always reassuring and as if he fitted right into my burning frustration; he covered it like a safety blanket. The burning was out in an instant when he was safety enveloping me; swallowing me whole.
Speaking of burning. The burning had started again, the flames started licking me from the inside, all gasoline and matches – dynamite tick, tick, ticking. The flames were coming from all directions at me from the outside, now. I can feel them digging into my palms in the form of my sharp nails.
My head was starting to feel like it was entrapped in a vice. I had almost trained myself to ignore the constant throbbing but the stress I was dealing with at the moment was the vice tightening and there was only one place that could hold it at bay.
I was supposed to be perfect. As-pretty-as-a-picture sort of perfect. Dark-rimmed-eyes-and-pink-lips sort of perfect. Tighten my ponytail, let lace dance on me, I am satin in rough hands. Mom had taught me that I needed to be perfect and I needed to work hard because no one was going to serve me the world on a silver platter in the end.
But selfishly, I think that might be how it was turning out and everything was at my very finger tips because Jughead fit seamlessly into my world and gave me everything I wanted and Jughead was home. He was my home. My silver platter never shone as brightly in any other hands other than Jughead’s.
He was standing here, in my room; hands out and waiting for me, as they had been for the last two days, the arms I could barely bring myself to embrace.
It was so dark here – in my mind. I was shutting down and I didn’t know what to do. Shut down; go on, shut down, it’s too hard. The only thing I knew how to do was to shut down, so piece by piece, I shut down a little more and Jughead was here to just be here. He brought me coffee, he read me out his latest works, he laughed about Archie and V and how they’re not in a relationship. He was just here and he didn’t stop anything to try and accommodate poor old Betty Cooper. He was the normalcy I forever crave.
He sits down on the edge of my bed and I don’t think we’ve spoken properly since I shut down. Once upon a time, he gave up the chance to be part of his own family just to try and fit in a little oddly in my stupid one and now everything that I had ever dreamed of was going to begin in a different city even if I was there or not.
My mom and dad are at a war with each other even though Polly hasn’t been pregnant in over a year. I don’t think they’d ever stop being at war with each other – I don’t remember when they were ever not at war with each other.
Go and see the world, go and be what you want to be. That was supposed to be my mantra but my world is in the room with me and what I want to be? I just want to be normal. Go and see the world, go and be what you want to be. Go and see the world…
I can barely pry my eyes away from my hands. I want to look up at him, tell him I’m sorry and that I just want to sit in here and watch all his favourite movies. But I can’t look up, I can’t meet his eyes. I know he’s sunkissed, I can smell it on his jacket that smells like the sun and menthols. I just want to lie with him and talk about crap. I just want him.
“Betty,” he says gently. “It’s not healthy sitting in here all day, you need your daily dose of vitamin D. Though not too much as you don’t want to get sunburnt.”
His attempts at humour always throws me and I laugh a little before letting my hands free and stretching them out, cracking my knuckles against my thighs. “I’ll crack a window,” I reply weakly.
“Ah, I don’t want to be rude or anything but it’s getting really stale in here and I think that your mom coming in to light candles,” he says pointing to my dresser. “Is sort of her way of saying it without having to say it.”
I roll my eyes and sure enough, there were several candles burning in the corner that I hadn’t noticed before. Mom would have snuck in at some point to check on me and to make sure I hadn’t done anything stupid, while I was asleep. “That has to be the nicest way anyone has ever told me that I smell, Jughead Jones.”
“People tell you that often?” he says chuckling but I see his hands are a little shaky as they reach out for mine, I let up and slowly meet his hands with mine.
He folds my hands over and looks at my palms, four small marks on each palm, the red a little brighter than the last time I had looked at them. I try to look away from him, I feel my cheeks turning red just like my palms. “I…” I don’t finish.
“Don’t say anything, it’s ok, just breathe,” he tells me.
“I don’t think I can,” I mutter, feeling the pressure building in my chest.
“If you’re talking, then you can. Come on, in and out.” he says, his own chest rising and falling and I try to match my breaths with his. His eyes seem dark-rimmed and blue-bright. His small smile is comforting and safe but his concern is dripping and oozing all over the carpet of my room, leaching into me. Spreading like a drop of ruby-red blood in a pool of water.
I keep going, in and out, our chests rising and falling in unison, his thumbs running over my palms. I felt sick. How many times had we gone through this routine? Where I would be out of action and he would be the only one willing to get me up and running again. His thumbs smoothing over these stupid, tiny, painful injuries. Where at the time, the release felt so damn good but made me resent myself a little more. Mom was so good at keeping up appearances but I can tell the signs, she’s just as broken as I am but she’s so good with make up and I think a little bit of the way she can recreate perfection on her face has leaked into her being.
Jughead was here, just like he always was, never pushing me but always prompting me. Sometimes it was the little things like reminding me I had to brush my teeth and sometimes, it was the big things.
Like telling me to let go when I have a grip on my own hands or nails digging into my thighs.
I take my last deep breath and he lets go of my hands, reaching up to move my hair out of my face. “I love you,” I say with a sigh. Our love was abundant. Our love sometimes felt smothering and it’s unnatural how something can keep moving so seamlessly – like the flow of controlling your own body and he was one half and I, the other, inferior half. It was staggering and swallowing – I’m swallowed whole.
He tilts his head, biting his lower lip and I know he can see that my eyes are barely meeting his. “Do you want to talk about it?” he licks his dry lips and sighs loudly, running a hand through messy, three-day-old washed hair.
I shake my head furiously and move closer to him on my bed, our knees touching and I just lean straight forward, my forehead hitting his chest. He wraps me up in his arms and rests his chin on my head. We are still both breathing, in and out, in and out: my new mantra. I keep my bravery in my head that is nestled against him.
He smells like tobacco and cheap deodorant but that smell has always been so comforting, I struggle to remember a day where my own body hasn’t been laced with that smell, his denim jacket is hard and ruggard against my face but I take this as a good omen because I know I haven’t been able to feel anything in days.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I mumble against him. I don’t know if he heard me or not with my mouth muffled against his jacket but he exhales loudly and I think he heard me.
“Archie wants us to go over next door so he can see you. And it took a hell of a lot of man-handling to not let Ronnie through the door, she all but kicked the door in when I came up here.”
I laugh silently but I manage a smile. “You man-handled V?” I ask. Veronica was sharp and stinging like whiplash. Jughead was calm words and calmer movements.
He scoffs. “Oh yeah,” he says laughing. “Or maybe she man-handled me.”
“That sounds more like it,” I reply. “I can’t imagine you surviving a fight with Veronica and living to tell the tale.”
“What if I replaced Veronica with Archie and I did win the fight, is that a better tale?” he asks, moving away from me to place his hand under my chin and tilting me to meet him.
“I must admit,” I say quietly, “That would be a more believable tale, Mister Jones.”
He forces me to meet his eyes and I do, all deep blue and icy. I had tried to promise myself that I wouldn’t cry but I didn’t keep it. I feel a tear spill out and Jughead puts his lips to mine, running his tongue across my lips, pulling away and then placing a tender kiss on my forehead. “Stop crying,” he says in a whisper. “Angels don’t suit crying.”
He wipes the tear away with the pad of his thumb and wipes it on his jeans. “I don’t feel like and angel, Jug. I feel old.”
“If you don’t feel it, don’t be it.”
“I feel old, I feel my body is weak and my mind is weaker,” I tell him honestly.
He frowns and holds my hands tighter, I think he’s keeping my hands hostage as he’s not sure what they’d do. I don’t even know what they’d do. “Don’t force yourself to be strong, you don’t need to prove that to anyone,” he says, turning my hands over again to look at my palms. “You don’t need to prove it to yourself, either, Betty.”
I feel his glare on my palms, “Don’t look at them, I hate them. I bet you hate them too.”
Jughead groans and pulls me in tighter. “There is not a moment in time – ever – in which I would hate any part of you, Betty.”
A bit of courage grows in me and I reach up to Jughead’s beanie, pulling it off slowly and placing it in the bed between us, I close the barrier in between and I reach up to grab either side of his face, pulling him down to kiss him on the lips, my hands moving down his neck and my nails tracing patterns on him. “I love you so much, do you understand?” I ask him.
“Of course I do,” he replies.
My dimples cut deep into my cheeks and I blush red-pink, feeling hotter as the burn kisses them as well. His kisses again almost illuminate this stagnant night, it almost brightens the room – lifting the heavy. This day was painful inside me, I made this day even tougher for the guy who hates the first week of October every year.
I sigh, kissing him on either cheek and then again on the lips. “I’m sorry. And Happy eighteenth Birthday, Juggie.”
Unpopular opinion: I don't really like Haxby and I think Marney is wonderful because he respects Charlotte so much??? I think Haxby was always just a petty person and that everyone likes him because he's played by Edward Hogg (whom I adore as well) and that the random thing they had in episode 4 does not constitute them being a solid ship??? Yep, sue me.
I want to preface this by saying that I welcome discussion of all opinions, and thus, there’s really no need for things like “sue me.” It’s okay! We all have our opinions, and we all like whom we like. Own it. Furthermore, I think you’ll be happy to hear that this is not an
unpopular opinion at all. I like Marney, as I’ve said. There’s always been tons of Marney love
on my dash. There’s always been tons of love for him in the notes on my
gifs of him. Hell, people even tag my Haxby gifsets with how much they
prefer Marney. Believe me: by no means is the fandom’s preference clear cut.
And the thing is, it doesn’t need to be an either/or scenario when it
comes to liking Marney and/or Haxby. It doesn’t even need to be either/or when it comes to shipping
Charlotte with both or either of them. That’s part of why, upon seeing the preview for 1.06 last week, I
explicitly expressed my unhappiness about the punching scene
pitting the two men against each other over Charlotte.
By the timing, I’m guessing this message is in response to some of my recent posts/reblogs alluding to 1.07 and perhaps specifically to my admission yesterday that although I find Marney more likable than Haxby, I don’t find him or his relationship with Charlotte as interesting. Honestly, I hesitated ever saying that for fear of starting a ship war, but again, we all have our opinions. And although I did indeed come into this show with an undeniable Ed Hogg bias, please don’t imagine that that’s blinded me to Haxby’s personality or is the only reason I ever became so invested in him.
You’re absolutely right: Haxby is a petty person! He has always been petty, as well as scheming and priggish and self-righteous — and quite frankly, I have, since the very beginning, found him hilarious and delightful and intriguing precisely because of those qualities. They’re part of what fueled his bickering and needling and sorta-flirting with Charlotte, who, likewise, is petty and scheming and taunting right back to him. Nor is their rivalry unfounded: they are each, after all, seriously interfering with the other’s ability to effectively do their job or live the lifestyle they want. And yet, it’s not all been vitriol. They have each had moments — his prayers at Mary Cooper’s deathbed, her growing discomfort during the “hold my pisspot” scene — in which they find themselves awkwardly and unwillingly aligned. If Haxby had only ever been bitchy, I’d have found him amusing, sure … but not nearly as interesting as he is with these quieter moments as contrast.
Now, what constitutes “a solid ship” is a debate as old as fandom itself (and a debate, I think, with no clear answer possible). But from a purely narrative standpoint — looking at it in terms of storytelling, previous interactions, foreshadowing, etc. — their hook-up in episode 4 was not random, did not come from out of nowhere, and is by no means the sole reason anyone might ship them. That sex was foregrounded by four full episodes of petty rivalry, uncomfortable empathy, and sharp barbs of flirtation all mixed together into a beautiful and complicated mess of a relationship that felt, to me, grounded very realistically in who they are as characters and where they each stood in society / Howard’s household. Charlotte and Haxby alike are two strong-willed, hard-headed, combative people who are well matched enough to go head to head, and they may not bring out the best in each other, but they certainly bring out something — something unexpected and bold.
And I, personally, find that immensely interesting. I am pretty dang sure I would find it interesting even if I’d never heard of Edward Hogg.
I’m not trying to convert you to this ship; just to explain why I find Haxby and his relationship (whatever it is) with Charlotte worthy of further exploration. And that’s really been the point to my recent posts / reblogs on the subject. I don’t know whether you’ve seen 1.07, and since I know that most of the people who might be reading this have not, I’m not going to get into that at all. But the point is NOT that I want to trash Marney or gloss over Haxby’s faults. I don’t want to do either of those things. I just want Harlots – a show which thus far has not shied away from exploring some very complicated relationships – to continue exploring this interesting thing it started.
I want characters who are well-rounded and complicated, I want relationships that feature both connection and friction, and I want narrative groundwork to be built upon, not discarded. I want those things for both Haxby and Marney. And I want those things most of all for Charlotte, who, in one way or another, intersects with them both.
But there is one thing that people know but never seem to realize the full implications of.
The Metrotitans were the vessels for the Knights of Cybertron, each with a spacebridge inside of them to point the way home for the Knights, or to travel vast unimaginable distances.
And when one realizes it:
There are questions to be asked.
Chromedome decided to show mercy and free the Crystal City Titan rather than killing him trying to find the answer he was looking for. And Metroplex… well…
Quite harsh, right? I mean, four million year long war can’t really be giving good impressions when you ask for the path to paradise and enlightenment?
Except look at who asked Metroplex to begin with.
Nautica, an offspring of a colony that was never part of the war, that was never in contact with Cybertron after the colony was established, or at least hasn’t been in contact at all ever since long before Megatron was even built.
And yet Metroplex rejected her. He rejected Caminus, he rejected every single Cybertronian who were both from Cybertron itself or one of its offshoot colonies.
Why do none of them deserve to know?
Thankfully it is Caminus that gives us the answer to that question. Notice that in the teachings of the Way of Flame, there is not a single mention of the Guiding Hand, not even a mention of the Knights of Cybertron. But there is a mention of the Thirteen.
But if the Knights of Cybertron were the first generation of Cybertronians, who spread out on Metrotitans to spread the message of peace and prosperity, and to ultimately find or build Cyberutopia, where does that leave the colony Titans? Where does that leave the Thirteen who appear to have come after?
The Thirteen came after the Knights of Cybertron, and either forced them away or exterminated them on Cybertron, or some other unimaginable grave sin that they committed against the Knights of Cybertron. Maybe it was when Prima had Solus reforge the Creation Matrix into the hilt of the Star Saber.
And then The Thirteen were rejected. The Way to Cyberutopia was closed on them, leaving them alone to rule a planet without a purpose.
Whatever unforgivable deed the Thirteen did, it tainted the rest of Cybertronians, leaving them without guidance or the ability to really atone for the unknown sin.
None of them deserve to know about the Knights of Cybertron, or to know where Cyberutopia lies.
In the end, the Thirteen sought to expand into the cosmos again, each of them creating not just a metrotitan, but a metrotitan which can reformat themselves to cyberform whole planets, and also carry hot spots, the tiny miracles of life that would imbue those cyberformed planets with life befitting them.
It was almost sundown and I was ready for the best day of my life. Hermione, Fleur and Luna scurry around, trying their best to calm my nerves with cold water, my favorite music and a butterbeer cork. I look at the mirror and stare at myself in admiration. My mother’s white dress fit me like a glove, the lace looked liked they were patterns around my skin and the details were just beautiful. The girls put some finishing touches on me and then it was time. Time to face my future, time to face the love of my life.
The view was amazing, there was a wide variety of warm colors that mixed in with the sky. Oranges bled into yellows and yellows bled into reds and it was a harmony of colors. I could hear the music playing in the distance as I made my way towards the aisle. My dad links his arm around mine and slowly, I walk down the aisle. Fred looked like he was crying, it was almost too good to be true. From this day and beyond I was to be a Weasley and I couldn’t be happier. I hand my bouquet towards my Maid of Honor and give my dad a kiss goodbye. Fred takes his hands into mine and gives me a smile that looked like he had won a million galleons. George gives him a soft pat and whispers, “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.” I roll my eyes and Fred gives him a sly smile. The minister clears his throat and begins the ceremony.
“Do you, Fred Weasley, take Y/N Y/L/N as your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in poorer, till death do you part? he says.
“Do you, Y/N Y/L/N, take Fred Weasley as your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in poorer, till death do you part?”
I smile, “I do.”
“Now, you may kiss the bride.”
Fred leans in ever so slowly and wraps his arm around my waist and just as our lips touch, sealing our love forever…my eyes shot open.
Tears begin to stream down my face. Ever since the war, that dream has been replaying over and over; it was almost as if it was taunting me. I lie back onto the bed and close my eyes and doze back into darkness.
It was almost sundown and I was ready for the best day of my life.
Hattie McDaniel was born on June 10, 1895, to a family of entertainers in Wichita, Kansas. She was her parents’ 13th child. Her father, Henry, was a Baptist minister who played the banjo and performed in minstrel shows. Her mother, Susan Holbert, was a gospel singer. In 1901, McDaniel and her family moved to Denver, Colorado.
McDaniel attended the 24th Street Elementary School in Denver, where she was one of only two black students in her class. Her natural flair for singing—in church, at school and in her home—was apparent early on, and gained her popularity among her classmates. Following her elementary schooling, McDaniel attended Denver East High School for two years.
Singing and Dancing
While still in high school, McDaniel started professionally singing, dancing and performing funny skits in minstrel shows. In 1910, she decided to leave school in order to train with her father’s minstrel troupe full time. In 1920, she became a member of Professor George Morrison’s orchestra, and toured with his and other vaudeville troops for the next five years. In 1925, she was invited to perform on Denver’s KOA radio station. The performance gave McDaniel the illustrious distinction of being the first African-American woman to sing on the radio in the United States.
Following her radio performance, McDaniel continued to work the vaudeville circuit for the next few years. When work was slow, she took a job as a restroom attendant to supplement her income. Much to her relief, in 1929, McDaniel landed a steady gig as a vocalist at Sam Pick’s Club in Milwaukee.
A year or so later, McDaniel’s brother, Sam, and sister, Etta, convinced her to move to Los Angeles, where they had managed to procure minor movie roles for themselves. Sam was also a regular on a KNX radio show, called The Optimistic Do-Nuts. Not long after arriving in L.A., McDaniel had a chance to appear on her brother’s radio show. She was a quick hit with listeners, and was dubbed “Hi-Hat Hattie” for donning formal wear during her first KNX radio performance.
In 1931 McDaniel scored her first small film role as an extra in a Hollywood musical. In 193, she won a larger role as a housekeeper in The Golden West. McDaniel continued to land bit parts here and there, but, as roles for blacks were hard to come by at the time, she was once again forced to take odd jobs to make ends meet.
McDaniel landed her first major on-screen break in 1934, singing a duet with Will Rogers in John Ford’s Judge Priest. The following year, McDaniel was awarded the role of Mom Beck, starring opposite Shirley Temple and Lionel Barrymore in The Little Colonel. The part gained McDaniel the attention of Hollywood directors, and was followed by a steady stream of offers.
In 1939, McDaniel accepted a role that would mark the highlight of her entertainment career. As Mammy, Scarlett O'Hara’s house servant in Gone with the Wind, McDaniel earned the 1940 Academy Award for best supporting actress—becoming the first African American to win an Oscar. All of the film’s black actors, including McDaniel, were barred from attending the film’s premiere in 1939, aired at the Loew’s Grand Theatre on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia.
Later, during World War II, McDaniel helped entertain American troops and promoted the sale of war bonds.
Through the mid-1940s, McDaniel appeared in additional films, primarily playing roles that members of the post-war progressive black community were beginning to cite as offensively old-fashioned. Since playing Mom Beck in The Little Colonel, McDaniel had been attacked by the media for taking parts that perpetuated a negative stereotype of blacks; she was criticized for playing servants and slaves who were seemingly content to retain their role as such.
Walter White, then president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pleaded with African-American actors to stop accepting such stereotypical roles, as he believed they degraded the black community. He also urged movie studios to start creating roles that portrayed blacks as capable of achieving far more than cooking and cleaning for white people.
In her defense, McDaniel responded by asserting her prerogative to accept whatever roles she chose. She also suggested that characters like Mammy proved themselves as more than just measuring up to their employers.
Later Life and Death
As the Civil Rights Movement progressed, the sort of roles for which McDaniel was typecast began to gradually disappear. As a result of her conflict with the NAACP, she was also no longer a popular choice for film roles. Movie offers eventually stopped coming altogether.
McDaniel reacted to the decline in her acting career by making a strategic return to radio in the late 1940s. In 1947, she took the starring role on CBS radio’s The Beulah Show. Although McDaniel was once again playing a maid, she managed—to the NAACP’s approval—to use her talents to break racial stereotypes rather than reinforce them.
In 1951, McDaniel started filming for a television version of The Beulah Show. Unexpectedly, she suffered a heart attack around the same time, but was able to resume filming after a short recovery period. When McDaniel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1952, actress Louise Beavers stepped in to assume her role on the TV show.
Hattie McDaniel lost her battle with cancer in Los Angeles, California, on October 26, 1952. Since her death, McDaniel has been posthumously awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, in 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
In hindsight, anybody could have easily guessed this was coming. The signs were all there, if not the hostile behavior and tension only thickening with each new generation. At the time, nobody had really wanted to believe it would occur– it was only a radical movement, they would say, no matter what their race or genetic coding. Though the rebellious ones and anarchists certainly showed support for the upcoming devastation no one wanted to acknowledge, everyone else attempted to ignore it up to a certain point. The protests, the raids, the assaults; the list went on, yet nothing ever truly happened. Avert your attention, turn off the TV or radio, and tune out the state this area of the word was coming to, and everything was okay. For a while, anyway.
Then the terrorist movement began. Who started it was impossible to work out, but the suspicion that the inhumans were behind the whole ordeal might have been closer to the truth than anything else. Sick and tired of all the mistreatment, judgement, and oppression, anybody could see why they would transition to such brash actions. However, the humans saw no justice in it; they’d killed and maimed innocent people, children and families. Rather hypocritical of them to say, he thought, though he held his tongue and tried to remain neutral.
As soon as violence was returned from the opposite side, the nonexistents pulled their affairs away from the humane dimension. Smart move on their part, though he also knew many of them were upset about it. They wanted no part in the beginning of this revolutionary ‘war’ even before it started– not until it had thinned itself out into black and white, allowing a decision to be made. Naturally, that meant Xenon had been called back. Oh, he’d been enraged about the abrupt restraint on his and others of his kind’s transitioning between forms; there was no real way to keep them at bay, but he supposed they’d worked something out, considering he hadn’t heard from the rowdy Shadeflame since the first attack began.
Sickening, merciless onslaughts broke out all over the country, beginning slowly, but steadily spreading. Mutilations and scourging on both sides constantly flashed across the newsfeed and became the gossip and fears of the surrounding towns. It was all anyone could hear. Eventually, even technological systems were hacked into in order for each side to spread their own messages. Who sided with who? Was there a wrong or right decision to make? Could instinct be trusted, or was rationality a better route to take? Was neutrality even an option? Already there had been countless murders, raids, pillages, and invasions. Entire cities were taken over, bases were created, focal points for both sides were seized and taken control of– not even the government was functioning properly. Hell, they weren’t even bothering with stopping the sudden civil war threatening to break out.
But when two protesting groups broke into violence and ended up destroying the countryside, effectively killing off all other signs of life and violating the already fragile code system set up to keep from a full-blown war– that was when it all came crashing down. This was war, and nothing could stop it now. No number of apologies, reconstruction, or amendments could be made to possibly make up for the crimes committed on both sides. The overhanging threat, now all too real, clutched them all in its iron fist and set the war in motion.
Looking around now, Aokigahara never would have guessed this had once been a place of refuge. Everywhere he turned, there was hostility shown to those choosing to remain neutral. Either you were for or you were against 'true freedom’ for the inhumans. The way they saw it, only one could be right and one could be wrong. Negotiation wasn’t an option among a bunch of war-crazed beings both human and inhuman. Now that he looked back on it, none of this could have been avoided, but it could have been lessened had somebody used their head and decided to voice these problems with common sense and open-mindedness.
A heavy sigh fell from his lips, followed by the shifting and popping of bones beneath his skin. Icy eyes skimmed the foggy terrain, searching for any signs of sudden movement or misplaced landmarks. Rubble and skeletons of buildings dotted the near-barren wasteland, making it difficult to spot any opposing figures immediately. Too many vantage points and hiding places– this was a suicide run, but he didn’t dare say so now. Somehow, the small group of neutrals he was with had managed to cross through warzones relatively safely in search of the safezone located not too terribly far from where they were now. The real problems was getting through the last few barriers without any major conflict. Usually both sides reluctantly respected the neutrals, but as of late they were regaining their hostile attitude towards them. 'Waste of resources’, as the humans put it, and 'waste of manpower’, as the inhumans put it.
In all honesty, the hybrid remained uncertain of where his loyalty lay in terms of whose side he would take if forced to. Neither army was making wise or agreeable decisions, and so many horror stories about what happened to those with mixed blood or those classified as 'unknown’ sent chills down his spine. Besides, he would rather stay with those he had forged a relationship– or, as his suppressed nature chose to put it, 'attachment’ –with. Remaining by their side through all of this was his only goal as of late. There couldn’t be anything simpler than that during times like this. Besides, he highly doubted he would let himself go against what his instinct or emotions pointed towards, especially when they went hand-in-hand for once.
Cautiously, he rose from the low crouch he’d positioned himself in, raising his arm to signal he’d found nobody lurking in the mist or any other prominent dangers. Through the chilled air, he could make out the hazy silhouettes of the rest of the group approaching. A deep hum of unrest rumbled from his throat; something felt terribly off. His nerves had been standing on end ever since the expedition began, but now his suspicions were quickly rising as the day wore into night. There had to be a hidden reason for this sudden transition in positioning, something the appointed temporary leaders weren’t telling the few others beneath their command.
“This just isn’t adding up,” he muttered beneath his breath, tightening the strap on his former hunting mask, relaxing his posture only slightly when a familiar figure break through the heavy mist. Out of habit, he kept a careful eye on them until he was certain no danger had followed behind, then fell back in step with the rest.
imagine bucky falling in love with sam and not even realizing it at first. initially he just passes it off as gratitude because sam’s been there for him since the beginning of his long journey to self recovery. it hurts too much to talk to steve about some things and sometimes steve will happily recall a memory of he and bucky before the war, and bucky will slap on the fakest smile of his life that clearly doesn’t reach his eyes and solemnly nod along. steve notices but doesn’t say anything. he knows it must kill bucky not to be able to remember the better parts of his past.
but sam, he makes bucky feel like it’s okay not to know who he used to be. there’s never any pressure with sam to act like something, someone long gone, that he’s not. sam is kind and selfless and just listens. he knows the right things to say when bucky talks his throat raw, voice cracking ever so often with the weight of the confessions spewing out of him. and sometimes, sam just holds him, lets bucky shake apart in his arms and waits patiently to piece him back together.
it doesn’t come to bucky as some big revelation or an over the top epiphany. it’s just little everyday things that sam says or does that make bucky smile and laugh so hard and openly that he even surprises himself. one day he’s just leaning a hip on the counter, cup of coffee in his right flesh and human hand, watching from the kitchen as sam and steve playfully argue about the merits (or lack thereof) of reality tv, and sam is laughing his head off at steve’s scowl and the sound is the most beautiful thing bucky has ever heard and all he can think in that moment is ‘oh. well guess that explains it’.
The human mind and heart are only equipped to feel so much pain and sorrow. Beyond that point, it is simply more pain, more sorrow. Not bigger, greater, grander, just more. Anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one knows this to be true. The tear ducts can only produce so many tears at a time. The heart can grieve for only so long. Anything beyond that is simply more of the same. After a time, the mind grows numb. The heart hardens. The spirit withers and starts to die. This is life, says that part of us which enables us to survive holocausts and hurricanes, war and bereavement alike, live through this. And so we do live. We go on. We survive. We endure the unendurable and come out the other side, blinking, dazed, shocked and stupefied, but still alive.
- Krishna Coriolis: Slayer of Kamsa (Ashok Banker)
Where do I even begin to describe these two? Most know them as Krishna’s long-suffering parents whom he liberated from years of confinement and torment after killing the evil Kansa. Know them, but don’t think about them. I’ve been drawn to them since long before I understood what they endured and what they stood for. And now that I understand, I love them even more.
It started with the prophecy on their wedding day - their son was destined to kill his tyrannical uncle, and said uncle was so enraged that he was ready to behead his newlywed sister on the spot. Vasudev hardly knew her then, but she already meant enough to him that he traded away his freedom to save her life. Thereafter they were confined to a dark, solitary dungeon where year after year, Kansa murdered their newborn children before their eyes. The seventh pregnancy was marked with miracles that renewed their hope, but to them it appeared to have ended in a miscarriage and they had that added grief to bear until they learned the truth. When the long-awaited savior - the eighth son mentioned in the prophecy - was finally born, they prized his safety over the joy of watching him grow up. So they stayed in that same darkness, that same solitude, with only the assurance that Krishna was adored and protected in Vrindavan to keep them going.
While love for Krishna gave them purpose, love for one another gave them the strength to fulfill it. They had no one but each other to talk to, no shoulder but one another’s to cry one, no one else to help them mentally escape from one of the harshest realities any character from Hindu mythology (or dare I say, any character ever) had to endure. They got through it with their sanity and their spirit intact because they had each other. I draw far more inspiration from a love that empowers you to live through such tragedy than other love stories that culminate in self-destruction. Love that is not weakness, but strength.