i feel like i belong to a northern country these days

Every summer of my life has been a feast of bees and ripe figs, endless olive groves and vineyards.Thyme honey flowing. White linen everything, salt on hair, salt on skin, the smell of sunscreen and rosemary on my sheets. Cicada symphonies, jasmine bushes blooming, the August full moon and ancient ruins. Family meals in countryhouses, rural weddings, dusty sandals.

Lately I’ve been longing for a different type of summer. Berry and mushroom picking and adventures in mystical forests. I want to carve on tree trunks, caress baby bears, spend a rainy night in a forest refuge, drinking hot tea and hearing fables. Discover a hut and befriend the old lady who feeds her ducklings. Bathe in a silent lake, dance around a bonfire wearing a flower wraith on Midsummer Day. I want sudden summer storms, forget-me-not bouquets, days and days of silence.

Mixed Black African Girl (Cameroonian/French)

I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.

  • Culture and food

Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.

I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?

Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.

Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).

  • Language

There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.

  • Beauty Standards

Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.

Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.

  • Clothing

Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).

Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.

  • Dating and Relationships

I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.

Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.

  • Home/Family life

My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.

In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.

  • Identity issues

Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).

  • Daily struggles

So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.

  • Misconceptions

Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.

  • Things I’d like to see less of

Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.

  • Things I’d like to see more of

Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.

  • Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.

The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

Amit & Mythri Part 2

Here comes the emotional part. I actually cried while writing this chapter. But I loved bringing all my character together and showing the importance they all have. I hope you enjoy!

  Amit and I have been in Obresh for several days, waiting on the other rulers to arrive for the summit. Lord Nictis has called us all here together, hoping to find a way to combat the rising influx of the Gnoll Empire as well as the growing threat of the Centaur, Demir.

   Seeing all these rulers here makes me realize how close and ever-looming war is. Not just any war either, a worldwide war with every kingdom and country at stake. No one in this crowd looks confident. Everyone seems drawn and serious. I’m sitting beside Amit with my hand on his knee. We have both dressed in our ceremonial garb of all white. For the Rakshasa, the white attire is a sign of peace and acceptance, usually worn during visits from other royals, or during times of conflict. We agreed to wear them now to show our support of all these leaders.

   Amit was sure of his decisions, but because there were so many expectations on his shoulders, he was visibly shaken. I had never seen such a cross look on his face since before we were married. So many people looked up to him, in fact, many of the royals here at the table now were only here because of Amit. Amit asked me to sit by his side during this meeting, although I do not know what i bring to the table.

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Laying the Groundwork

A/N: SURPRISE: I wrote a new thing! So my brain was in dire need of producing something with a little more humour and a lot more romance than the other things I’ve been writing as of late. Alas, this steamy, fun little story happened. This is Part I of II or III. Hope you like it! 😊

A/N 2: I began to write this for the ss month prompt “Connected Feelings” but evidently I really missed the deadline.

Summary: Sasuke and Sakura are both ready for physical intimacy, but neither is willing to make a move until the other expresses where their feelings stand. The catch is that neither knows how to express where their feelings stand. SasuSaku. Blank period.

Genre: Romance / Humour

Rated: T (Teen) for sexual themes

Disclaimer: All characters belong to the great Masashi Kishimoto

Read on FanFiction.net


PART I

It was the first night Sasuke and Sakura agreed to share a bed.

And I know what you’re thinking: our vagabond heroes are winding up for a steamy, passionate night, aren’t they? I mean, finally, after months of mutual dependency and roaming foreign lands, prowling the wild like predators and becoming attuned to each others’ basic, primal needs, Sasuke and Sakura must be ready to put a physical seal on their ever-growing, soul-connecting emotional bond… right?

Well, not exactly.

It was a choice borne of logic, not passion, because the only single-person rooms available at the only inn in town were enormous and, frankly, irritatingly expensive (to borrow a word from Sasuke himself). “What’s there to see in this town that made them hike up the prices?” Sasuke mumbled into his travelling companion’s ear, while ignoring the clerk’s glare. She could hear everything he was saying.

He’s got a point, Sakura thought, because this little town, somewhere on the Northern boarders of Fire country, wasn’t even a spec on the maps. “We could just share,” she proposed while trying to keep her voice as nonchalant as one possibly could when suggesting something so obviously… suggestive.

Sasuke stared at her for a moment while a million thoughts crossed his mind. Could she… She doesn’t want to…?

He stopped himself mid-thought.

No, that wasn’t what this was about. Sakura was practical and resourceful and that was why she wanted to share a room (and that was why he liked her).

“One room,” he said to the clerk.

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Angelic Affair (Part 1)

Summary: When England questions his lonely place in the world, magic steps in to solve problems with more problems. What’s the harm in taking advantage of being an angel in order to fall into a loving devil’s arms? Well, for starters, despite the fact that America’s never made a move, he’s not the sharing kind. England’s sudden disappearance rocks the world, but can America find him and convince him to return before the so-called angel, quite literally, falls from grace? Moreover, can he woo him away from the devil who got there first?

Pairing: devil!America / England, America / England, etc.

(( A long-ish short fic, in parts. ))

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England’s tired.

It’s a self-pitying, melancholic slowness that drags out centuries and then years and then days, until it’s a crawl, each hour measured by how long it’s been since his last cup of tea and how long it’ll be until his next. Bureaucracy and politics, reluctantly installing applications on the smartphone he doesn’t like in order to keep pace with the busy lives of the world. He follows America on Instagram, at the nation’s insistence, only to have the program suggest to him Canada and France and Italy and so on.

He’s by no means enthused with the tools one has access to in order to track others, although his government thinks otherwise and tasks employees with a constant browse of social media. ‘What did Russia mean by that status update?’ or 'Is China’s purchase history cause for concern?’

In meetings, England vaguely thinks over what he’s learned and seen through these screens as he observes the other nations. America, in particular, interests him for obvious reasons. Skiing with his northern brother being on full display online brings sense to comments between them, a question regarding wine from that selfsame brother to France also has known context. Even words between Germany and Italy or Greece and Spain are illuminated by posts online.

Are their lives that entertaining that England’s missing out? Or is it perhaps some kind of ruse and exaggeration?

It isn’t as though England’s unaware as to why he’s not invited. He makes no effort to speak to most nations outside of official business and he has a habit of turning down invitations left and right. Has that progressed to the point where he’s missed the boat on establishing these media bonds? Perhaps.

He’s old. Or, at least, he feels old. In his bones, the tech is not natural to him. It doesn’t arouse his wonder, like it might for others. Magic has always been the source of his awe and no amount of electric screens can steal that away from him. Few understand that.

Yet, there’s an accumulation of tension inside of him.

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anonymous asked:

Prompt: It's Klaus birthday in NOLA and Rebekah secretly sent an invitation for Caroline, because the siblings have a secret bet going on about who's present gonna be the best. After 1000 what does one give to someone who can get whatever he wants :D

Kol is sipping a margarita, splayed out on one of the leather couches in their lounge room when she gets back from her shopping expedition in New Orleans.

The radio is on, playing one of those inane pop tunes that Kol for some reason seemed to love, and his foot is swaying lazily to the beat as he stares up at the fan whirring lazily on the ceiling above them.

“What on Earth are you doing?” She asks of Kol, whose eyes flick towards her, a self satisfied smile creeping across his face when he sees her.

“Celebrating.” Kol says with great relish, taking a sip of his margarita. “Can I offer you a drink, sister?”

“Knowing you you’ve probably spiked it with some sort of sleeping potion, so it’ll be a hard pass this time.” She replies with disdain, remembering the last time Elijah had accepted a drink from Kol, and had then promptly broken out in hives that had taken quite a few days to disappear, and only with the assistance of a witch that owed Elijah quite a few favours.

Kol had ended up with a dagger in his chest for a month before Elijah had deigned to make amends with him.

“God you’re all no fun.” Kol mumbles under his breath, sitting up on the couch and planting his booted feet on the floor. “And since you never asked what I was celebrating, I’m going to tell you anyway.”

“Of course you are.” She remarks dryly, tapping her foot against the floor, cursing the humidity that seemed to hang over New Orleans at this time of the year like an unpleasant shroud.

Already she can feel her hair sticking to the back of her neck, her clothes pressing to her skin unpleasantly. Maybe she could go for a swim a little later.

“Well, as you well know Bekah, Nik’s birthday is coming up. And I know that we all try and one up each other when it comes to buying him a gift. God knows why considering how many times he’s daggered us all… If anything he should be buying us presents to make up for it.” Kol is just thinking out loud now, and she can’t help but sigh, massaging her temples.

In fact, Nik had brought her plenty of gifts to make up for the whole daggering thing, knowing that she was materialistic at heart and was far more likely to respond positively to that than murmured platitudes and constant apologies.

She wouldn’t give up her designer wardrobe, villa in Tuscany, and private island for anything.

“Get to the point.” She snarls as Kol continues to mumble under his breath.

“Fine. I just want to tell you and Elijah that you shouldn’t bother trying this year, because I’ve got him the present to end all presents. The perfect gift.”

“You do?” She asks incredulously, because Kol’s idea of a perfect gift is usually a stripper or a gift voucher to some obscure store.

“I do.” Kol says with another smug smile. “So just don’t even go there this year Bekah. You’re not going to beat me!”

With that, Kol drains the rest of his margarita, falling back to lie on the couch once more.

Justin Bieber starts playing on the radio, and as she marches out of the room to escape the stupidity of the song, an idea begins to form in her mind.

Kol wasn’t going to know what hit him.


“I could get used to this.” Caroline Forbes remarks with a laugh, reclining on the pure white sand as the sun beats fiercely down on her skin.

“I’m not sure about the heat.” Enzo has propped himself up on her elbow next to her, Ray Bans covering most of his features as he takes in the crystalline blue water. “Although it is a beautiful corner of the world.”

She’d been dying to come to Australia for some time now, and she and Enzo had spent the last few months wandering the massive island continent. As she very quickly discovered, there was so much more to Australia than the cosmopolitan city of Sydney.

They went dune boarding at Port Stephens, a little coastal town three hours north east of the capital of NSW. They spent a week on the Gold Coast, checking out the bars and clubs that peppered the famous city.

They spent another week on a cattle ranch in the far flung part of Queensland that no one else ever seemed to go to, made friends with the locals as they had to revert back to animal blood momentarily.

The Northern Territory was amazing, as had been Western Australia. The Barossa Valley had been a favourite, rich wine country with vineyards stretching as far as the eye could see.

Enzo had loved Melbourne, loved the coffee culture and all the hip little laneway bars that were only discovered if you stumbled across them by accident. Someone had suggested the Whitsundays for their next destination, and after looking at some pictures online she and Enzo had very quickly booked one of the resorts there.

The past few days had been spent snorkelling on the Great Barrier reef, reclining on the deck of the sailboat they had hired, swimming in clear blue waters, and sampling some of the amazing food at the various restaurants dotted around the island.

She thanked her lucky stars that she technically couldn’t put on weight now that she was dead and all, so had absolutely no guilt about helping herself to a second or third plate of food at dinner time, washing it down with some wine.

“That it is.” She agrees quietly with Enzo, sipping at her bottle of water, watching clouds scud across the cornflower blue sky.  

Someone whistles at them from the shore line, and she raises her hand in acknowledgement towards the skipper of their boat, sitting up and beginning to gather her belongings, shoving them back into the canvas beach bag she carried with her.

She dusts the sane off her as she and Enzo make their way over to the boat, ankle deep in the cool water before they’re being handed up onto the deck.

When she gets back to their room, she’s surprised to see an envelope addressed to her. She hadn’t given anyone an address while she’d been travelling, and so she approaches the envelope with a healthy dose of caution.

Picking it up between two fingers, she gingerly breaks the wax seal on the back, pulling out the parchment within and unfolding it quickly.

Caroline,

My brother is celebrating his birthday this year. Although I’m not particularly eager to see you anytime soon, I know that Nik would like it. Details are within.

Rebekah

She can’t help but cover her mouth, snorting with laughter as she hands the folded up piece of paper to Enzo to read.

“Rather direct, isn’t she?”

“Yes, that always has been her m.o.” She replies with another soft laugh, eyes scanning the contents of the invitation before tossing it onto the bed.

“So are you going to go?” Enzo questions curiously, leaning over to read the invitation as well.

“I don’t know. Maybe?” She answers it like a question, becuase to be honest she’s still not half sure herself.

Enzo raises an eyebrow at that.

“Maybe? That’s a complete 180 from last year when it was a flat out no. Could it be that your feelings towards the big bad hybrid have changed?”

She hits Enzo on the arm good naturedly.

“It’s not like that. It’ll just be… good to see him.” She trails off lamely, knowing that it’s a pathetic excuse if ever she’s heard one.

To be honest, she’d been thinking about Klaus a lot more lately. She hadn’t seen him in almost a decade, the last time being quite a memorable weekend they’d spent together in Tuscany, when they hadn’t done much more than have sex and drink wine from teh surrounding vineyards.

Most of the weekend had been spent in bed, Klaus determined to show her just how good they were with each other, which they were. Klaus continued to be the best sex of her lfie, and if the infuriating smile that he wore on his face every time he brought her to climax was anything to go by, he knew it as well.

But they both had other priorities. She was content to continue her nomadic lifestyle, discovering some of the far flung and forgotten corners of the world, Enzo in tow more often than not.

Klaus had settled into his life in New Orleans, ruling the city with an iron fist, his siblings still with him.

She’d never been. Setting foot into his city would be sending a message, that she was willing to entertain the idea of a forever with him. And she hadn’t been ready for that yet. But now…

“I can see that your mind has already been made up.” Enzo replies with a slow smile. “Are you sure?”

She just takes a deep breath, squaring her shoulders.

“I’m going to need a dress.”


The party below them is in full swing, members of the supernatural community mingling in the courtyard below them.

Kol leans on the balcony beside her, hair swept artfully away from his forehead, tuxedo clinging to the firm lines of his body. He sips at his drink, glancing at her for a moment.

“Did you even try to get him something this year?” He asks with a chuckle. “You’ve been surprisingly tight lipped this year sister.”

She smooths down the front of her black party dress, raising her own glass to her lips as she takes a drink.

“I tried something different this year. Apparently it didn’t work out.” She notes with a shrug, downing the rest of her drink and setting the now empty glass on the tray of a passing waiter.

Kol stares at her for a long moment, trying to figure out the meaning behind her words.

“Shame.” He pronounces with a shrug. “You’re usually much better at this. Did you order something online and it didnt’ arrive on time or something?”

She just smiles to herself, phone buzzing in her hand.

“Something like that.”

And then she thumbs into the message, reading the two words displayed across her screen.

She’s here.

The doorman of course, had been under strict instructions to keep an eye out for Caroline. He’d been provided with a picture of the baby vampire, one from her Mystic Falls days where she’d been polished and primped and wearing a ballgown.

All the same, Caroline Forbes was rather hard to miss, even dressed in plain clothes with her hair in disarray. She would know because she’d seen the girl in such a state during one memorable run in at the MIkaelson mansion in Mystic Falls.

It hadn’t taken a genius to know exactly why Caroline was doing the walk of shame at such an infernal hour of the morning. The younger girl had blushed, hair falling into her face as she had whispered a soft goodbye before letting herself out into the weak early morning light.

She had mentioned this as an aside to Kol, who had promptly teased Nik about it. Nik had snapped his neck and they hadn’t mentioned it since.

“Am I boring you?” Kol’s voice abruptly interrupts her train of thought, and she locks her phone, eyes flicking up towards her brother, who’s staring at her like she’s just grown a second head. “Where did you go just now?”

She just draws herself up to her full height, snagging another flute of champagne.

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch brother.”


The doorman is staring at her strangely. She can’t imagine why, because she most certainly does not have lipstick on her teeth (she checked). The navy blue party dress that she’s wearing makes her tanned legs look a mile long, and accentuates the curves of her body.

Her hair, which she had spent a ridiculous amount of time on, was twisted into an elegant up do, and she was wearing a necklace that Klaus had gifted to her during their time in Tuscany.

The short of it was, she looked a million bucks.

“Caroline Forbes.” A voice drawls as she steps into the entrance of the courtyard.

Rebekah Mikaelson hasn’t changed a bit, that bored expression on her face ever present. She’s wearing a killer pair of Manolos and she can’t help but eye off the striking shoes with a bit of jealousy.

“Rebekah.” She finally answers, swallowing around the lump in her throat as Rebekah just smiles, pressing a drink into her hand.

“I didn’t think you were going to come.” Rebekah sips at her own drink as she turns, moving more towards the crowd of people, a few of whom eye them off with barely concealed curiosity. “You know, since I didn’t receive your RSVP or anything like that.”

“Sorry.” She replies to the older vampire, smoothing a hand over her hair. “I was undecided until quite recently. I did send word but apparently you didn’t get the message in time.”

“No matter.” Rebekah waves a hand dismissively. “You’re here now and that’s all that matters.”

Rebekah tilts her gaze upwards towards the balcony, and she follows the line of the Original’s gaze. Kol Mikaelson has a drink in her hand, and is gaping at her with his mouth hanging open rather unattractively.

Within split seconds his gaze lands on Rebekah, eyes narrowing as he raises his drink towards his sister in a toast for some reason.

“What was that about?” She asks Rebekah, who lifts one shoulder in an elegant shrug as the crowd clears momentarily and she spots Klaus from across the room.

He looks entirely at ease in this particular setting, his tuxedo clinging sharply to the lines of his broad shoulders, pants tailored to within an inch of their life. He’s got his head thrown back in laughter as he talks to another man, drink in hand and looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world.

“What on earth has he done to his hair?” She hisses towards Rebekah in horror. “It looks atrocious.”

She sees Klaus stiffen at that, and curses his superior Hybrid hearing as his gaze suddenly lands on her, eyes dark.

It’s perhaps the first time that she’s seen him truly caught off guard, and she can’t help but raise her glass to her lips, not realising just how much liquid courage she’d need to fortify herself with for this particular encounter.

The crowd seems to part before Klaus as he moves towards her, Rebekah giving her a gentle nudge, encouraging her to meet him halfway.

If that wasn’t a metaphor for their relationship, she didn’t know what was.

Klaus stops before her, gaze indecipherable as he reaches out, traces a gentle hand along her cheekbone.

The weight of the curious gazes around her is heavy, and she can’t help but lean into his touch as he bends, taking her hand in his, pressing a gentle kiss to it.

He straightens, and his smile is like the sun.

“Hello Caroline.”


It feels strange, being on Klaus’ arm. For a moment, she can’t help but think that Klaus is showing her off, demonstrating his power.

Until he begins introducing her to people, a hand resting dangerously on her lower back, thumb rubbing circles into where her dress does not cover up the skin of her back.

He seems content to take a backseat in their conversation, instead observing silently as she exchanges greetings with various witches and werewolves and vampires.

She sips at her drink as someone else comes to greet Klaus, and it takes a moment for her to realise why this time is so different. Klaus isn’t treating her like an object. He never has, a byproduct of his thousand or so years of existence.

No. Klaus is treating her like an equal, and the thought of that sends a thrill down her spine. So when there’s a break in the conversation she twines an arm around his waist, pressing a quick kiss to his neck.

In response Klaus pulls her closer to him but doesn’t comment, carrying on his conversation effortlessly.

Hours later as the guests begin to filter out into the street, Klaus pulls her in close to her chest.

“What are you doing here Caroline?” He asks in a low voice, tone dangerous. “Not that I’m not happy to see you, of course I am.”

She meets his gaze confidently, hand drifting up his chest to fix the lapel of his dinner jacket.

“I’m here for you Klaus.” She tells him with a smile. “You remember that weekend in Tuscany, when you let me go without a word of protest?”

Klaus’ lips curl into a smirk.

“How could I forget Tuscany?”

“You didn’t push me. And I was grateful for that, even though I did know that you wouldn’t wait around forever for me. And when you kept your distance in the following years, I was grateful. But I also missed not having you around.”

Her eyes drop to the crisp lines of his shirt as her hands drift down towards his waist. His breath is hot against her cheek, and he’s gone unnaturally still as he waits to hear the next words out of her mouth.

“You offered me forever and I wasn’t ready then. But I am now.” She says softly, hands sliding up his chest, twining around his neck as his gaze darkens, mouth hanging open in surprise. “If you’ll still have me of course.

Klaus’ lips against hers is the only answer he provides, the only answer she needs. Klaus kisses her like he’s a starving man, like he’s been deprived of something for so long.

She’s scarcely less eager to return his embrace, missing the feeling of him, the familiar smell of him.

She doesn’t protest when Klaus picks her up in his arms, using his vamp speed to get the from the courtyard to what is undoubtedly his bedroom.

He’s got her pressed up against the closed door before she can even think about it, lips hot against the skin of her neck as he nips at her with a content sigh.

His jacket drops to the floor, and she helps him unbutton his shirt, no doubt in her mind as to the direction that this is heading.

Her hands roam over the skin of his chest, catalouging all the new scars that he’s acquired since she saw him last, hand pausing over a particularly nasty looking scar, no doubt caused by some sort of stabbing.

“You’ll have to tell me that story later.” She murmurs, tipping a finger under his chin and kissing him gently.

“Later.” Klaus agrees in a low voice, hands pausing at the seams of her dress.

She’s reversed their positions in an instant, Klaus pressed up against the door with a surprised look on his face.

“Don’t you dare rip this dress.” She hisses at him, knowing his proclivity for destroying her clothes when he’s in this sort of mood. “I like this one.”

His low chuckle curls around her, a warm feeling in the bottom of her stomach as he turns her gently by the shoulders, a hot open mouthed kiss pressed to the side of her neck.

His hands on the zipper are like fire as he pulls it down slowly, fingers brushing over the exposed skin of her back as he pushes the dress from her shoulders.

It pools at her feet, and she hears his breath hitch in his throat as he runs a gentle hand down her back.

“I’ve missed this.” Klaus murmurs to her, walking her backwards towards his bed, both of them kicking off their shoes, Klaus shucking his socks as they go.

He grips her by the hips, easily lifting her up and tossing her onto the mattress, a giggle escaping her lips as Klaus’s gaze darkens.

“Come here.” She beckons to him as Klaus crawls between her knees, covering her body with his as he takes her into his arms.

The feeling is unfamiliar and familiar all at once, Klaus’ erection pressing into her core as she tangles her lips with his.

A soft moan escapes her as Klaus’ lips scorch a hot trail down her throat, face nuzzling between the valley of her breasts, stubble scratching against her sensitive skin.

“Pants off.” She orders after a momentary pause, Klaus chuckling as he does her bidding.

“A little eager aren’t we?” He asks her with an infuriating smile as he hooks long fingers into the waistband of her panties.

“We’ve got ten years to make up for.” She just breathes, watching as his face softens, hand coming up to cup her cheek delicately as he lines up his body with hers, cock nudging gently at her entrance.

She can’t help but gasp at the feeling, heel nudging at his arse as he smiles down at her.

“We’ve got all the time in the world sweetheart.” He replies before pushing into her heat with one, smooth stroke.

She’s missed this, the feeling of being filled by him, and her eyes roll back into her head at just how good it is, at how good he is.

Klaus had learnt to read her body with an almost eerie sixth sense, and he puts all of his learned knowledge into practice as he sets a rhythm that has her unable to do much more than gasp and hold on for the ride.

Klaus rolls suddenly, reversing their positions as she sways above him, a little startled. Klaus just smiles, still hard inside her as he guides her arms around his broad shoulders, hands hot around her waist as he helps to lift her, guide her up and down.

She’s always loved this position with him, loved the power and the look of awe that always creeped across his face when he saw her like this.

She bends down to kiss him, rolling her hips in a gentle rhythm against his. Klaus’ hand traces down the front of her body, thumb pinpointing her clit with an unerring accuracy.

She shudders a little when he presses there, rhythm broken momentarily as she opens her mouth in a silent moan.

She can feel the tell tale build in her core, the ache becoming almost unbearable as she increases her rhythm, anchoring her hands on his shoulders as he begins to thrust up into her with a look of concentration on his face.

She falls apart in his arms, Klaus catching her, turning and pressing her down into the mattress as he continues to drive into her, the pleasure edging into pain at the sensitivity.

Klaus knows this though, gentles the movement of his hips until it curls low in her belly once more, building impossibly fast to her peak.

They come together this time, her name on his lips as he buries his face into her neck, feels the heat of him inside her.

She runs a hand through his sweat dampened hair, breathing slowly returning to normal as he pulls out and heads for the bathroom, returning in the next few moments with a damp cloth to wipe themselves down with.

When he’s done he pulls her into the circle of his arms, a content exhale as he props one arm under his head, staring up at the ceiling.

They don’t have to say much. They never do in moments like this. But she feels like she has to say this.

“I love you.” She whispers into the skin of his chest, Klaus stiffening momentarily around her before he’s pressing a gentle kiss to the back of her hand, eyes brimming with emotion.

He doesn’t say it back but that’s okay. She knows that he’s felt this way about her for a long time, and she’s not going to get hung up on her insecurities like she used to when it came to him.

The moment is perfect, and she wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I hope you’ve got space in your wardrobe for all my clothes.” She voices out loud suddenly, propping herself up on her elbow to face him.

Klaus’ burst of startled laughter is like music to her hears.


On the lower levels of the house, Rebekah Mikaelson pours herself a victory drink, Kol glowering on the lounge opposite her as the fire crackles merrily away in the hearth.

“Do you concede?” She asks of Kol, who just glares at her, cracking his knuckles a little threateningly.

“I concede.”

anonymous asked:

Do you think Sansa will ever return home or see WF again? Also do you think Sansa will live in WF after the story in the books finishes? Do you have any thoughts on her endgame?

Oh, absolutely. I’m very confident that Sansa will return to Winterfell at one point. Her story trajectory has always been about her finding her way back to her home and reclaiming her Stark identity and connection. Sansa’s arc, from the point of Ned’s death, has had Winterfell at its heart, that yearning for home that Sansa keeps dreaming of; the comfort and safety of Winterfell that she prays for continuously.

I pray for Robb’s victory and Joffrey’s death … and for home. For Winterfell.  

That was such a sweet dream, Sansa thought drowsily. She had been back in Winterfell, running through the godswood with her Lady. Her father had been there, and her brothers, all of them warm and safe. If only dreaming could make it so …  

From the high battlements of the gatehouse, the whole world spread out below them. Sansa could see the Great Sept of Baelor on Visenya’s hill, where her father had died. At the other end of the Street of the Sisters stood the fire-blackened ruins of the Dragonpit. To the west, the swollen red sun was half-hidden behind the Gate of the Gods. The salt sea was at her back, and to the south was the fish market and the docks and the swirling torrent of the Blackwater Rush. And to the north …She turned that way, and saw only the city, streets and alleys and hills and bottoms and more streets and more alleys and the stone of distant walls. Yet she knew that beyond them was open country, farms and fields and forests, and beyond that, north and north and north again, stood Winterfell.

She awoke all at once, every nerve atingle. For a moment she did not remember where she was. She had dreamt that she was little, still sharing a bedchamber with her sister Arya. But it was her maid she heard tossing in sleep, not her sister, and this was not Winterfell, but the Eyrie. And I am Alayne Stone, a bastard girl. The room was cold and black, though she was warm beneath the blankets. Dawn had not yet come. Sometimes she dreamed of Ser Ilyn Payne and woke with her heart thumping, but this dream had not been like that. Home. It was a dream of home.  

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Canon is shit, so have some AUs (Pt. 2)

The second part of my collection of Ian x Mickey AUs. Read them, love them, and give thanks to the fic writers for blessing us with these treasures. (Pt. 1 is here.)

Make it Alone, or Keep a Straight Face by tinydancer
Mickey’s a sarcastic, cynical piece of shit and he knows it. The last thing he wants to do is go out searching for his perfect match like so many with his little unique ability end up doing. Apparently, anything red and above 85 is considered soul mate material. Mickey had laughed out loud when he read that one. (soulmates AU)

My Stars by CallieB
Something’s gone wrong with the world, and the stars are going out. Mickey doesn’t know why, and frankly he doesn’t give a shit; his life has never felt more empty, more worthless. He can’t shake the feeling that there’s something missing - a life he was supposed to have led, someone he was meant to have met, voices in his head saying things that never happened… And then Lip freaking Gallagher is in front of him, telling him that it’s his fault the stars are disappearing. He was supposed to be with Lip’s little brother, but he did it wrong - and now he has to go back in time and change the past to the way it was meant to be.

Noisy Neighbours by brazenlyunabashedlyshamelessly
Twist on the ‘Could you please move your bed a little further from the wall, I’m trying to work’ AU.
“After going through one cup, and making it halfway through a second, Mickey decided that this was bullshit. He lived here, too; he paid his goddamn rent on time. There was no reason why he had to listen to his douche face neighbour fuck some chick so hard Mickey’s walls shook.”

Of Burgers and Briefcases by horror_business
Keep in mind that Ian doesn’t get flustered easily, he’s a lawyer for god sake he has to be confident and strong willed, but this guy gave him butterflies in his stomach immediately. Pale, dark hair, piercing artic blue eyes and scowl painted firmly across his face. He was intimidating and fucking gorgeous in all the right ways and Ian couldn’t fucking concentrate. What was he ordering? What the fuck is he doing with his hands? What do people do with their hands?! Is he staring? He’s staring.
Or the one where Mickey owns a food truck and Ian is a love struck idiot.

Pleasantly Caving by wehangout
“I don’t want them to know yet,“ you tell him. "I want … I want this, you and me, to stay ours for a while longer.” (domestic fluffy AU)

Ransom by BeckyHarvey29
Frank Gallagher owes Terry Milkovich a shit ton of money. Terry sends his sons to kidnap Frank’s son for ransom.
Mickey meets Ian and nothing goes according to plan.

Restoration by pink_ink
Old house, new love. Construction workers Ian and Mickey meet on a home restoration job.

Saltimbocca Saturday’s by horror_business
Bella Sorna was a new up and coming Italian restaurant in the North Side of Chicago. They had been in business for two years now and their notoriety kept going up and up. Ian has been a server for three months and he enjoys it, mostly. One thing he doesn’t enjoy about working here was the irritable executive chef, Mickey Milkovich, who always seems to fuck up Ian’s dishes.

Shine by Loftec
You’ve been dead for a good long while, that’s for sure. You don’t remember how or when, but you can’t even move without being reminded that, even without the specifics, dead is undoubtedly what you are.
The first time you save someone, it’s by accident.

Slick back My Hair (You know the Devil’s in There) by wehangout
Hit-men AU where Ian and Mickey make a great team and are maybe totally a little bit hot for each other. After Ian gets shot Mickey is forced to confront his feelings for his partner in crime, and deal with the fact that someone out there is trying to kill Ian, the one person he’ll do anything to protect.

South Side’s Bonnie & Clyde by badtothebinding
An Ian/Mickey Bonnie & Clyde AU fic inspired by their honey trap in episode 4x09.
Ian and Mickey have been terrorizing the North Side, luring creepy douche bags into back alleys and helping themselves to their cash. But how long can they keep it up before running into trouble?

tell me we weren’t just friends by daggertattoos
prompt fill: dude we’re bros and stuff but honestly i don’t think i can look at you changing in the locker rooms anymore man i don’t want to be your bro no more (high school AU)

Test Run by the_rat_wins
The daughter of the Atraxen system’s richest glitterstim merchant has been kidnapped. The Jedi Council’s newest knight has taken it upon himself to rescue her, unaware that a dangerous bounty hunter is already on her trail.
(Star Wars AU; Ian is a new Jedi struggling to find mental and emotional balance through the Force, and bounty hunter Mickey just wants to finish the job and collect his reward. Until he doesn’t.)

The Hills; 1914 by inanatticinnovember
Mikhail, a lonely Ukrainian fisherman come to Northern Ireland, is in love with the sea. If he’s going to be honest, it’s probably the only thing he thinks he’ll ever really love. And then he comes across a day dreamy wistful Irish farm boy named Ian who won’t shut up and won’t stop moving and Mikhail finds himself carelessly running after him, unable to slow down, unable to stop falling for his eyes like green hills. And maybe he gets a little too caught up. But for a summer, everything is fine and nothing hurts.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Ian Gallagher by Shamelessquestions
"It’s fuck all about heat or chemistry or any such shit, Gallagher. You and me… it’s just a thing that cannot happen. The sooner we both accept that, the better off we’ll be.” (mobster AU)

The Sum of All Its Factors by missmichellebelle
“Can someone use surly in a sentence?”
“Is it true that you’re dating the surly Mr. Milkovich?”
Well, at least she used the vocab word, Ian can’t help but think. (high school teacher AU)

The Wedding Planner by BeckyHarvey29
Wherein Ian is getting married, and Mickey pretends to be a wedding planner.

To Let Go by anomalously
Being Rabid meant you were weak. It got you caught, got you killed because you couldn’t control yourself. You had to surrender to gain control, part of the give and take nature of the beast. For Mickey, it was one serious bitch to try to conquer… his body just wouldn’t give in. (werewolf!Mickey/Milkoviches; witch!Ian/Gallaghers)

Touched by Avalonia
Ian Gallagher is just another drone in a call center full of them, with nothing to his name but a slow computer that hates his guts, a head full of voices that may or may not be real, and an unshakable reputation as a headcase. Funny how Mickey Milkovich, the grumpy guy from IT, doesn’t seem to care about any of that.
An (a)typical office romance with a bit of a twist.

Trust me by Loftec
Mr Milkovich is a certified weirdo, but he also happens to be a certified accountant and not half bad at his job, considering his relatively low rates. So Ian guesses he can live with the weird midnight meetings and the abrasive correspondence. The good looks is a considerable bonus.
And the pointy teeth turn out to be less of a problem than one would imagine.

Two Can’t Keep a Secret by BeckyHarvey29
Ian and Mickey are secretly fooling around. Mandy wants to set Mickey up with someone. Ian doesn’t like that. (secret lovers AU)

Under Hill, Under Sky by the_rat_wins
Exiled from his father’s court of goblins and monsters, Mickey lives alone in the woods, until he stumbles upon Ian, an injured knight belonging to the Seelie Court (the bright immortals who are his father’s worst enemies).

With Rough, Unsteady Lines by missmichellebelle
Mickey draws skulls, and dragons, and one time he drew a pretty sweet gun, but it’s just something he does because he’s bored. It’s not like he enjoys it, or whatever. (artist!Mickey AU)

Wrap Me Up In a Bolt of Lightning by enc0432
World War II AU where Ian and Mickey meet at Camp Taccoma, training to be paratroopers. I’m borrowing pretty heavily from Band of Brothers which is why the boys are in Easy Company. I could not get the idea out of my head of Mickey being a combat medic.

You will always fall in love, and it will always be like having your throat cut, just that fast by anythingbutgrief
They used to have magic. Their family did, anyway, long ago, way before their mother and her family had come to this country, before the Yugoslav wars, before the state had existed to begin with. It was stronger before the Empire had fallen, before the first war, his great-grandmother used to murmur when he was little, rubbing her paper-dry hands together like she could conjure her lost magic back through the heat of friction, her wrinkled face bunched into a permanent scowl. Mickey was tiny then, couldn’t have been older than four or five, but he remembered wondering even then why Terry only glared at her from across the room instead of screaming at her to shut the fuck up, like he would have done if it had been Mickey’s mom doing the talking. (soulmates AU)

I asked you guys to give me some topics to talk about, and one of them (by Kay) was Finland. I thought it would be fitting to write something about Finland today since it’s Finland’s 100th Independence Day! 

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää = Happy Independence Day!

Okay, let’s get to the basics. One of the things I often come across when I’m talking to people who are not from Europe (or even if they are) is the question; where is Finland exactly? So, let me show you.

We are located in the Northern parts of Europe, right between Sweden (on the left) and Russia (on the right). We also share a border with Norway too. Back in the day, the area of Finland used to be Sweden and Russian’s game piece before about 100 years ago we said “You know what? Enough! We want to be our own country!” 

Okay, it probably didn’t go exactly like that, but you get the gist. So, because of our strong history with Sweden, our second main language is Swedish. It is taught in schools and it’s written all over the place along with Finnish, you can see it in street signs, foods, subtitles etc. Now, even though that sounds kind of fancy, I don’t think majority of Finnish speaking Finns really speak it on a daily basis. We might use some terms, but if someone starts talking to us in Swedish, a lot of people automatically just switch into English. That being said, there are areas (close to Sweden and in the capital city) where people have better Swedish skills. I’m from the inner parts of Finland, so we don’t really use Swedish there, which is why my Swedish is a little rusty. I can understand it more than I can speak it, let’s just say that.

There is also a third language, sami (”saame”), that is spoken in the Northern parts of Finland and there are different dialects to it. I personally don’t know any of it, but to give you a little idea of the position of sami language and people in the Finnish culture, I would say that they are treated like the natives all around the world - not well enough - which is a crying shame. 

Now, back to basics. Finland’s capital is Helsinki (yes, it does sound awfully lot like “Hell sinking”, but it’s actually pretty nice city and nowhere near as hot as Hell - just what I’ve heard, never been there myself ;) ). It’s located in the Southern part of Finland, so it’s very easy to access by plane, boat or even by a train. The main capital used to be Turku, but it got changed because of the influence of Russia back in 1812. Turku still holds an important part in Finland’s culture, for example, a lot of cruise ships leave there to Åland (a little island between Finland and Sweden) and Sweden, and the Christmas Peace is declared and broadcast from Turku every year on Christmas Eve. But Helsinki is still the capital and that’s usually where everything happens (if it happens - usually people don’t bother to come to Finland, it’s like we are invisible).

So where are these places?

Also, Åland isn’t really called Åland in Finnish, that’s its Swedish name. In Finnish it’s called “Ahvenanmaa”. The thing with Åland is that it kind of wants to be part of Sweden more than it wants to be part of Finland, but it still belongs to Finland. So because of that, it feels more like Sweden when you go there and I would say more people speak Swedish than Finnish down there. // Edit: This apparently doesn’t seem to be true (anymore, if ever!)

You also probably noticed the funny shape of our country, and yeah, it has not gone unnoticed by us either. We call the shape of Finland “Suomineito”, The Finnish Maiden. The Northern parts are the head and she has her hand reached out toward Sweden and Norway. There used to be more parts on the Russian side, but we lost them to Russia in a war and it’s still painful to talk about to older people especially, because the war didn’t happen too long ago, many died and got hurt and the memories are still fresh. 

I could leave you with these bits of info for now and write more about Finland later as I don’t want to make the posts too long!

A word of the day is “Suomi” (= Finland).
Phrase of the day is “Samma på svenska”; this is actually a Swedish phrase used by Finns who are too lazy to translate the Finnish sentence to Swedish so they just say “Same in Swedish” and leave it at that. 

just another history nerd

Hi there! My nick in the Hetalia fandom is “Kate Marley” and I love nerding about history in relation to Hetalia! Since I’d also love to help people learn more about pre-WWI Europe, @hetaliafandomhub kindly accepted me as a nerd an expert for High Medieval, Late Medieval, Early Modern and „long“ 19th century (c. 1001-1914) Western and Central European history. This focus doesn’t mean I’d be unable to say anything about other areas of Europe/the world, about pre-millennial history, and about the world after 1914. It means that the areas and the time period I applied for are what I focused on in my studies so far. I study History at a German university, so I’d also be happy to reply to any questions about the history of the Holy Roman Empire, including the history of individual HRE states!

I’d love to work as a consultant with people who create historically themed Hetalia fanworks, but I also intend to make the occasional informative post about historical topics and trivia. What I’m not too knowledgable about is details of historical clothing, and while I know some about historical armoury, that has never been a special interest of mine. Historical music and musical instruments, however … I love talking about them!


Just two basic guidelines:

  • Please respect I’m doing this in my spare time and for fun. That means it may take a few days until I get round to replying to your question, in particular if it involves some research on my part. Please be patient! If I take longer than a week to reply to you without giving a reason, feel free to ask (in a polite way) if I received your ask/submission at all. Chances are tumblr just ate it.
  • The time periods I cover involve some sensitive issues, such as the Age of Discoveries (European slave trade!) and nationalism (in the 19th century in particular). Also, of course the Americas have always been there; they were only “discovered” from the perspective of the Europeans. If I formulate something in a way you consider unfortunate, please bring this to my attention (again, in a polite way) so I can reformulate it.

Now I’d like to explain to you what I understand by “Western” and “Central Europe” and what terms such as “High Medieval” and “Late Medieval” (roughly) entail!

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English is weird

John McWhorter, The Week, December 20, 2015

English speakers know that their language is odd. So do nonspeakers saddled with learning it. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a spelling bee. For a normal language, spelling at least pretends a basic correspondence to the way people pronounce the words. But English is not normal.

Even in its spoken form, English is weird. It’s weird in ways that are easy to miss, especially since Anglophones in the United States and Britain are not exactly rabid to learn other languages. Our monolingual tendency leaves us like the proverbial fish not knowing that it is wet. Our language feels “normal” only until you get a sense of what normal really is.

There is no other language, for example, that is close enough to English that we can get about half of what people are saying without training and the rest with only modest effort. German and Dutch are like that, as are Spanish and Portuguese, or Thai and Lao. The closest an Anglophone can get is with the obscure Northern European language called Frisian. If you know that tsiis is cheese and Frysk is Frisian, then it isn’t hard to figure out what this means: Brea, bûter, en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk. But that sentence is a cooked one, and overall, we tend to find Frisian more like German, which it is.

We think it’s a nuisance that so many European languages assign gender to nouns for no reason, with French having female moons and male boats and such. But actually, it’s we who are odd: Almost all European languages belong to one family–Indo-European–and of all of them, English is the only one that doesn’t assign genders.

More weirdness? OK. There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third-person singular. I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talks–why? The present-tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult?

Why is our language so eccentric? Just what is this thing we’re speaking, and what happened to make it this way?

English started out as, essentially, a kind of German. Old English is so unlike the modern version that it’s a stretch to think of them as the same language. Hwæt, we gardena in geardagum þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon–does that really mean “So, we Spear-Danes have heard of the tribe-kings’ glory in days of yore”? Icelanders can still read similar stories written in the Old Norse ancestor of their language 1,000 years ago, and yet, to the untrained English-speaker’s eye, Beowulf might as well be in Turkish.

The first thing that got us from there to here was the fact that when the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (and also Frisians) brought Germanic speech to England, the island was already inhabited by people who spoke Celtic languages–today represented by Welsh and Irish, and Breton across the Channel in France. The Celts were subjugated but survived, and since there were only about 250,000 Germanic invaders, very quickly most of the people speaking Old English were Celts.

Crucially, their own Celtic was quite unlike English. For one thing, the verb came first (came first the verb). Also, they had an odd construction with the verb do: They used it to form a question, to make a sentence negative, and even just as a kind of seasoning before any verb. Do you walk? I do not walk. I do walk. That looks familiar now because the Celts started doing it in their rendition of English. But before that, such sentences would have seemed bizarre to an English speaker–as they would today in just about any language other than our own and the surviving Celtic ones.

At this date there is no documented language on Earth beyond Celtic and English that uses do in just this way. Thus English’s weirdness began with its transformation in the mouths of people more at home with vastly different tongues. We’re still talking like them, and in ways we’d never think of. When saying “eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” have you ever felt like you were kind of counting? Well, you are–in Celtic numbers, chewed up over time but recognizably descended from the ones rural Britishers used when counting animals and playing games. “Hickory, dickory, dock”–what in the world do those words mean? Well, here’s a clue: hovera, dovera, dick were eight, nine, and ten in that same Celtic counting list.

The second thing that happened was that yet more Germanic-speakers came across the sea meaning business. This wave began in the 9th century, and this time the invaders were speaking another Germanic offshoot, Old Norse. But they didn’t impose their language. Instead, they married local women and switched to English. However, they were adults and, as a rule, adults don’t pick up new languages easily, especially not in oral societies. There was no such thing as school, and no media. Learning a new language meant listening hard and trying your best.

As long as the invaders got their meaning across, that was fine. But you can do that with a highly approximate rendition of a language–the legibility of the Frisian sentence you just read proves as much. So the Scandinavians did more or less what we would expect: They spoke bad Old English. Their kids heard as much of that as they did real Old English. Life went on, and pretty soon their bad Old English was real English, and here we are today: The Norse made English easier.

I should make a qualification here. In linguistics circles it’s risky to call one language easier than another one. But some languages plainly jangle with more bells and whistles than others. If someone were told he had a year to get as good at either Russian or Hebrew as possible, and would lose a fingernail for every mistake he made during a three-minute test of his competence, only the masochist would choose Russian–unless he already happened to speak a language related to it. In that sense, English is “easier” than other Germanic languages, and it’s because of those Vikings.

Old English had the crazy genders we would expect of a good European language–but the Scandinavians didn’t bother with those, and so now we have none. What’s more, the Vikings mastered only that one shred of a once lovely conjugation system: Hence the lonely third-person singular -s, hanging on like a dead bug on a windshield. Here and in other ways, they smoothed out the hard stuff.

They also left their mark on English grammar. Blissfully, it is becoming rare to be taught that it is wrong to say Which town do you come from?–ending with the preposition instead of laboriously squeezing it before the wh-word to make From which town do you come? In English, sentences with “dangling prepositions” are perfectly natural and clear and harm no one. Yet there is a wet-fish issue with them, too: Normal languages don’t dangle prepositions in this way. Every now and then a language allows it: an indigenous one in Mexico, another in Liberia. But that’s it. Overall, it’s an oddity. Yet, wouldn’t you know, it’s a construction that Old Norse also happened to permit (and that modern Danish retains).

We can display all these bizarre Norse influences in a single sentence. Say That’s the man you walk in with, and it’s odd because (1) the has no specifically masculine form to match man, (2) there’s no ending on walk, and (3) you don’t say in with whom you walk. All that strangeness is because of what Scandinavian Vikings did to good old English back in the day.

Finally, as if all this weren’t enough, English got hit by a fire-hose spray of words from yet more languages. After the Norse came the French. The Normans–descended from the same Vikings, as it happens–conquered England and ruled for several centuries, and before long, English had picked up 10,000 new words. Then, starting in the 16th century, educated Anglophones began to develop English as a vehicle for sophisticated writing, and it became fashionable to cherry-pick words from Latin to lend the language a more elevated tone.

It was thanks to this influx from French and Latin (it’s often hard to tell which was the original source of a given word) that English acquired the likes of crucified, fundamental, definition, and conclusion. These words feel sufficiently English to us today, but when they were new, many persons of letters in the 1500s (and beyond) considered them irritatingly pretentious and intrusive, as indeed they would have found the phrase “irritatingly pretentious and intrusive.” There were even writerly sorts who proposed native English replacements for those lofty Latinates, and it’s hard not to yearn for some of these: In place of crucified, fundamental, definition, and conclusion, how about crossed, groundwrought, saywhat, and endsay?

But language tends not to do what we want it to. The die was cast: English had thousands of new words competing with native English words for the same things. One result was triplets allowing us to express ideas with varying degrees of formality. Help is English, aid is French, assist is Latin. Or, kingly is English, royal is French, regal is Latin–note how one imagines posture improving with each level: Kingly sounds almost mocking, regal is straight-backed like a throne, royal is somewhere in the middle, a worthy but fallible monarch.

Then there are doublets, less dramatic than triplets but fun nevertheless, such as the English/French pairs begin/commence and want/desire. Especially noteworthy here are the culinary transformations: We kill a cow or a pig (English) to yield beef or pork (French). Why? Well, generally in Norman England, English-speaking laborers did the slaughtering for moneyed French speakers at the table. The different ways of referring to meat depended on one’s place in the scheme of things, and those class distinctions have carried down to us in discreet form today.

The multiple influxes of foreign vocabulary partly explain the striking fact that English words can trace to so many different sources–often several within the same sentence. The very idea of etymology being a polyglot smorgasbord, each word a fascinating story of migration and exchange, seems everyday to us. But the roots of a great many languages are much duller. The typical word comes from, well, an earlier version of that same word and there it is. The study of etymology holds little interest for, say, Arabic speakers.

To be fair, mongrel vocabularies are hardly uncommon worldwide, but English’s hybridity is high on the scale compared with most European languages. The previous sentence, for example, is a riot of words from Old English, Old Norse, French, and Latin. Greek is another element: In an alternate universe, we would call photographs “lightwriting.”

Because of this fire-hose spray, we English speakers also have to contend with two different ways of accenting words. Clip on a suffix to the word wonder, and you get wonderful. But–clip an ending to the word modern and the ending pulls the accent along with it: MO-dern, but mo-DERN-ity, not MO-dern-ity. That doesn’t happen with WON-der and WON-der-ful, or CHEER-y and CHEER-i-ly. But it does happen with PER-sonal, person-AL-ity.

What’s the difference? It’s that -ful and -ly are Germanic endings, while -ity came in with French. French and Latin endings pull the accent closer–TEM-pest, tem-PEST-uous–while Germanic ones leave the accent alone. One never notices such a thing, but it’s one way this “simple” language is actually not so.

Thus English is indeed an odd language, and its spelling is only the beginning of it. What English does have on other tongues is that it is deeply peculiar in the structural sense. And it became peculiar because of the slings and arrows–as well as caprices–of outrageous history.

Apart, Together

Kell Maresh/Lila Bard. Post A conjuring of Light. 

First time posting fan fiction to Tumblr, this is the first chapter in an exploration of some of the inevitable conflicts of their position and personal desires mixed with cheesy romance. Because I love them. 

All characters and The Shades of Magic series belong to V.E. Schwab. 

For Kell life without Lila was becoming a world without the stars. The sun may rise and set each day but it was dreadfully dull. it felt as if a vitle peace ripped from the world, a thread snipped from a tapestry that caused it to fray at the edges. It was inevitable, unavoidable, that they would find themselves apart. Each time she set sail and he stayed in the palace it hurt like it was the first time all over again. There was almost a ceremony at this point. He would walk her to the docs, she would kiss him farewell. He would watch her go. She looked back only as the ship set out before tending to her duties as captain. Rhy would console him as much as he could. Being king ment less time to slink away and be alone with family. He would bring wine and spirits to celebrate her journey and to numb the heartache that flowed to him through Kell. Even Alucard tried to be less irritating on the days Lila left.

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PSA: Not all of the UK is England

Was writing this to explain to a friend but I realise a lot of people don’t actually recognise Britain is more than England. For example a lot of people I know don’t realise Wales is its own country, or that Northern Ireland isn’t part of Ireland, and so on.


Scotland:

- extremely northern part of the mainland

- was its own kingdom for a very long time, only really became united thanks to King James VI of Scotland becoming King James I of England.

- Has its own devolved government. This means it can self-govern on some matters, depending on what the English government secedes to them.

- god forbid you call them English. Historic rivalry and some instances of bitterness.

- Has an independence movement you probably heard about in 2014 for like a week. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been campaigning for a second referendum lately due to Brexit taking them out of the EU.

- While we’re at it, voted very strongly to stay.

Wales:

- Western part of the mainland

- Once ruled a lot of the British Isles, eventually lost its territory after the last monarch was ambushed by England on the way to a peace treaty. Caused a lot of resentment to some.

- Legally has been under English Law since 1292 but is its own country. IT IS NOT PART OF ENGLAND.

- Very bitter history towards its language, including the “Welsh Not” scheme used to subjugate Welsh as late as the early 1900s.

- HAS ITS OWN LANGUAGE! It might be severely lacking after 8 centuries of suppression but Welsh is still very much alive today, particularly in North Wales (#represent)

- The southern parts, including the capital Cardiff, are considerably more Anglicised, for better or worse. Gets some flack from the North for it occasionally.

- Don’t call them English either. While some don’t really care a lot do feel very national pride, the term “hiraeth” often used to describe the sense of belonging

- Also has a devolved government but it’s way more limited than Scotland’s. Has an independence movement along with Scotland known as “Plaid”.

Northern Ireland

- Not geographically connected to England, Wales or Scotland.

- The only part that didn’t separate when the Republic of Ireland (i.e. Dublin, Cork, Galway etc) did. These are the “Six Counties”.

- Chose to stay part of Britain, generally pro-union, although there is a party dedicated to rejoining the Republic called Sinn Fein. Which you might know as the historically political wing of the IRA. They AREN’T terrorists in the modern day.

- Very, VERY Protestant. Which is one of the main reasons they stayed part of the UK, which is largely run by the Protestant Church of England.

- Has its own devolved government and shares one with the Republic of Ireland, called “Stormont”.

- Generally votes more conservatively than the rest of the UK out of fear the only other choice is Sinn Fein, which would take them out of Britain.

- Sometimes identify as British more than Irish.

- Less antagonistic about the English, but still not a good idea. Of course the accent sort of gives away they’re not part of England either.

- Has historic ties with both Wales and Scotland, where their royalty would frequently intermarry. Once Wales was taken out this become Scotland more often.

- Sadly Irish is not particularly alive in NI. It is in the Republic though, and like Wales with Welsh, still has to learn it until 16.

England

- the part you probably recognise.

- Had to give the other 3 their own devolved governments (think weaker versions of US federal state system) but still controls all of them mostly.

- Makes decisions that affect them without their consent quite a lot, including Brexit negotiations

- despite the complaints of the other three about the English, the working classes are generally no better off

- makes up the largest amount of land in the UK and generally favours keeping the UK united.

- the stereotypical British accent is English. No fact most British stereotypes are English too, but bear no resemblance to most actual English people.

- voted very strongly for Brexit.

- it’s generally agreed the English government is kind of crap, most English just don’t want to be associated with it (particularly from their neighbouring countries).


I hope this helps educate non-UK people that the four countries that make it up are very different and not all are England!!

(Btw, I’m Welsh and Republic Irish so if you see there’s a lot more for Wales than the others…sorry!)

My gift for @niutellat for the week of hetalia gift exchange! Fruk! With a hint of FACE family and a side of (kind of) rusame! Happy holidays!


The rise of King Henry the ninth has seen with it the rise of the second British empire. Which had then in turn declared war on the Republic of France. France was told to surrender or face the consequences.

Francis Bonnefoy chose the consequences.



“Ah, you look wonderful.” The French president told his country.

Francis preened in front of a mirror, straightening his tie and fluffing his curls. “One must always look their best when meeting their opponent.”

“Even when the circumstances aren’t in their favor?”

Francis glared at him. “Especially then.”

“I’m glad you’re in such high spirits. It will convince that treacherous king that we aren’t defeated.”

“Free France will never fall again. Not as long as I’m around.”



“On this day, the Republic of France offers their unconditional surrender to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

Francis Bonnefoy silently stood by as his president condemned him to a life as England’s prisoner.

Francis Bonnefoy chose the consequences, but his president chose to surrender.

“You lied to me!” Francis hissed when he and his president were alone again. “You said we weren’t defeated! You agreed that we wouldn’t fall! And you sold us out.” Francis glared at him coldly. “I don’t know how you were ever put in power, but you never will be again.”

“France.” Francis turned to find Arthur standing in the doorway. “It’s time to go.”

“Go where? This is still my home.” Francis declared proudly.

“But it’s my land. You belong to me, and as such, you belong in London.”

“As a trophy in your case?”

“As British property.”

“No.”

“France-”

“Don’t lie to me. I remember your colonies, you only brought them to London when you wanted to show off. I’m just another prize to you, don’t humiliate me by saying otherwise.”

Arthur sighed. “Nevertheless, you will be coming with me.”

“It isn’t a choice,” the president reminded him.

Francis glared at him again. “Traitor,” he spat.

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Things I Learned on my First Trip to the “South” U.S.*
  • I have been to Virginia.  Virginia is not the South.  Or at least it is not as South as New Mexico is.  So it does not count.
  • No matter how many times I read “New Mexican food”, I will never read “this is food from the state of New Mexico”, I will always ask, “Wow, what inventive things have they done with Mexican cuisine at this restaurant?”
  • You do not drive the speed limit.  The goal seems to be to meander from lane to lane about twenty below the limit with relaxed rules about signaling. 
  • If your exit is not immediately coming up, do not get over.  The lane will disappear. You will feel foolish.
  • Green chile is everywhere.  Nothing is sacred.  McDonald’s even uses green chile.  There is no such thing as mild salsa.  All the food wants to kill you.  If you are afflicted with a weak esophagus and a proclivity to heartburn, you may find your only dinner option to be sour cream and cheese on a tortilla.  It will be the best tortilla you have ever eaten.
  • All the girls in New Mexico are pretty.  Or there are rules that all the girls in customer service have to be so pretty they’re hard to talk to.  Either way, between the heat and the elevation and the incredibly pretty girls, basic transactions are very difficult to stammer through.  How do y’all do this.
  • “But it’s a dry heat” is universally acknowledged to be the only response to Northerners who can’t stand the heat.
  • Your best friend will be the modern art sculpture outside the museum which includes pouring water.  You will climb into the midst of it and stand beneath it while small children stare at you wide-eyed.  You will not care.  You will dry off within minutes of exiting the shower of water.
  • Capitalizing on Breaking Bad is definitely a Thing.
  • A church that holds a Tridentine Latin Mass can also be a church that holds an accordion/guitar Mass.
  • The unofficial theme song for every event is “I’m so hot, cause I’m in hell”.  I don’t make the rules.
  • Country music is played regularly.  No one acts like they belong in a country song. 

*These in no way reflect universal reality, merely my individual experience over three days specifically in Albuquerque, and this is meant to be humorous.

The depth of winter (Game of Thrones AU - Part 1)

I wanted to post the entire fic in one part but:

  • It’s been so long since the last update and I feel terrible that I make you guys wait
  • This is probably going to end up WAY longer than I planned and it might just work out better split up
  • It’s my birthday this Saturday and I wanted to post something before the weekend, since I plan to be a lazy bum for the rest of the day and just rest

I tweaked some of the facts a little bit to fit more into the canon of both TV shows instead of the books. ‘Coming of age’ is reaching eighteenth birthday, not sixteenth. There are also some ideas from the TTG video game thrown in.

Also, have I spent WAY too much time browsing through my “A Feast of Ice and Fire” cookbook? Yes. Yes, I have.

* Morghon/Morghot - “Death” in High Valyrian

Beta-read by @brizzbee

(CLICK ‘KEEP READING’ FOR THE REST OF THE FIC.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” 

― Albert Camus


Alec stands next to his father in the great hall, discussing the possible terms of the trade they are going to settle when a messenger interrupts their meeting. The delegation from Dorne has been spotted at the bottom of the winding path that leads up to Idris castle. It won’t be long before they make it to the top, so Robert orders his family out to the courtyard to wait for their guests and greet them properly.

The castle is a buzz of activity, people running back and forth. The staff is in a mild state of panic - they have been for couple of days now - not only because of the arriving guests, but also due to Alec’s eighteenth name day celebration that is a little over two weeks away. Alec really, really doesn’t think that any kind of festivity is warranted just for his coming of age, but it’s tradition and Lightwoods are - if nothing else - traditionalists.

Alec stands at his father’s right side, Isabelle on his left, then Max. His mother would have also stood by their father’s side, but giving birth to Max proved to be too much for her body and she passed away shortly after bringing him into this world. At the end of the line is Jace, whose father was assassinated years ago and Robert took in his friend’s son as his ward.

The Dornish party is over forty people strong, but only a dozen or so come up to the castle and the rest set up camp in the village below. Alec stands up a little taller as the visitors enter the courtyard, the sound of horses announcing their arrival even before they’ve entered the gates. Alec has seen Dornishmen before, so their dark skin and sharp features aren’t that much of a surprise. They arrive on sand steeds, an easily recognizable and breathtakingly beautiful breed. There are a handful of guards mixed in the party and at the head of it is the ruling Prince of Dorne, Ragnor Fell. Alec has never met him, but with hair as white as snow - so atypical for Dornish people - he can’t be mistaken for anyone else. He is a tall man, with a strong, chiseled jaw and bushy eyebrows. There is a sword strapped to his side that swings slightly as he descends from his horse and he’s wearing a black and gold travelling cloak - they all are, actually. It’s still the middle of summer and it’s actually pretty warm, but Alec supposes that when you’ve lived in the desert for your entire life, even summer weather in the North must seem freezing cold.

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A Prince’s Sacrifice:

Why was it that he never had it easy?….Being the first born he was always alone. His parents never gave a single damn about the boy. They only cared about themselves…and what was best for the kingdom. Often….this had taken it’s toll on the young prince’s heart…he became rather quiet somewhat cold yet…when it came to servants the prince was as sweet as could be.

And learning things that he kept a secret.

Or so he thought. 

His father catching him in the act of casting spells and working the magic he had learned. Immediately shutting it down and shunning the prince for even thinking it was okay to do such unspeakable acts…..the prince was looked at like a monster…and that’s when Atem knew what his family thought of him.


His parents were always talking about ways to talk to the Northern witch into removing the curse he had placed on their country for centuries to come…the two had created a war with the witch in which they had now realized was a stupid idea.

Many days passing as they discussed about what to do…..till one day the young prince had finally decided that he wanted to eavesdrop on the conversation..and then, without permission, come inside.

“I’ll go.” He said as he looked to his father. “Take me to him….don’t witches like to take the first born or something to that degree?….I’m not much…but, I don’t want to see everyone suffering anymore…” He stated to them as he stood there while his mother and father both looked at each other for a long moment before glancing back at him…and then fetching a servant to tell them to get a carriage ready to travel up the snowy mountain.

Atem knew they couldn’t refuse….not after knowing that he wasn’t the son they wanted..sure he had everything they could ever hope for in an heir to the thrown. Looks, personality, brawn, and brains….but, he knew from the moment he was born that his parents had looked at him with such…disgust. Why? He had no idea…he had a feeling it was the magic he was able to wield…something looked down upon in his kingdom. 

For magic was seen as an abomination.


Within hours the royal family had made their way up the mountains…the king and queen hoping that Atem would be the key to saving their country from this harsh winter storm that had started since before Atem was born..

As soon as they were there, without hesitation the king took Atem by the arm and got him out of the carriage. 

“Witch! I wish to make you an offer!” The old man called out as he then had Atem get on his knees, softly whispering for him to comply and apologizing. It was now or never…and honestly Atem was done with being with his family… a prince who had no home that he belonged to.