A new chapter of my WWIsoldier!Hannibal x RedCrossnurse!Will AU is done!
My dumb ass realized I have the vaguest notion of Dutch so I had to fall back on the French I know to give the story a little more authenticity. I’m very annoyed with myself right now. Nevertheless, enjoy!
His boots splashed inky mud on his trousers as he advanced through the labyrinth in the middle of the night. It had been raining the entire day and it felt as if his helmet had soaked in all the dampness in the air, the cold metal pressing against his skull on all sides. His jacket stuck to him, moist and uncomfortable as he threaded through the eastern ditches with Second Lieutenant Franklin Amberson to make sure the ground under the sandbags and parapets hadn’t been eroded by the torrential rain.
Your tech industry AU made me think about an AU where the dragon age crew are the ones playing dragon age, like dnd style, which has NOTHING TO DO WITH TECH but anyway
this would be hilarious. Actually envisioning Inquisition crew as an Wirkd of Warcraft guild. Inky being reluctant guild leader. Solas going on about how everything was better in Everquest. Sera gloating at when at top of the dps meter….
Have you ever thought about writing a fic in which Voldemort went after the Longbottoms instead of the Potters?
If Voldemort had chosen the pureblood boy, not the halfblood, as his opponent? This Neville would have had graves to visit, instead of a hospital. He’d still have grown up in his grandmother’s clutches, tut-tutted at, dropped out windows absentmindedly, left to bounce on paving stones.
Let’s tell this story: Alice Longbottom, who was the better at hexing, told Frank to take Neville and run.
She died on the braided rug of their sitting room floor. Frank heard her fall from where he stood in front of the cradle. He did not have time to run.
When the Dark Lord climbed the stairs and saw Frank, he laughed at the small man in front of him. Frank had crooked teeth, a mis-sized nose, big fingers and small, watery eyes. Voldemort looked at him the way children would look at Neville, in almost a decade, at stubby fingers around a rememberall, a wrinkled brow and a stammer. “Move aside,” he said, the way a different Voldemort had once offered a way out to Lily Potter. That had been for the sake of another man’s love, and this was for his own contempt. “Just let me have the boy. Did you really think you could–”
When Neville met Voldemort again, in his fourth year, when Luna’s advice, his own gillyweed knowledge, and Ginny’s Bat Bogey Hex lessons had gotten him through the Triwizard Tournament he’d never signed up to enter, there would be a bubbling scar on Voldemort’s sunken left cheek. His father had had time for one curse. Frank’s love had saved his son, marked him, but his hate had been enough, too, to scar Tom Riddle through every rebirth and transformation he would ever have.
Harry Potter would have grown up as James’s oldest son. I think Lily, who missed her sister, and James, who had found three brothers at school and loved them more than life, would have had more children: a little sister who James taught to fly (little Tuney’d be Keeper to Ginny’s Seeker, in a decade, and gossip terribly about Harry), a baby brother Lily fervently talked James out of naming Lupeterius. Harry would have grown up spoiled and loved, magical, with toy broomsticks and playdates with the other Order kids– stumbling Neville, the Bones girl and the rollicking Weasley bunch.
If the Potters were never the main targets, never hiding and frightened, I don’t think Peter would have turned when he did. Not enough gain. Not enough tail-tucking fear. Peter would have limped through to the end of the war, whiskers shivering in his soul even when they were popping champagne on the night Neville Longbottom’s parents died.
They raised delicate glasses that had somehow survived all the first war, laughing, in Godric’s Hollow, to the Boy Who Lived. Augusta Longbottom planned her children’s funeral and wondered if her grandson’s forehead would scar like that. Lily danced in the living room with James, on the garish rug that Sirius had bought them as a joke and that they had kept just to spite him.
But this was a story about Neville now–it would always be a story about Harry, somewhat, because it had never been the scar that made the boy. When Draco Malfoy stole Neville’s rememberall, this Harry would still jump on a broom; when Hermione, weeping in the bathrooms, didn’t know about the troll, Harry would still run to tell her–that instinct was not something even having loving parents (especially these parents) would have kept from him.
But this had always been a story about Neville, too– unscarred Neville, Neville with his pockets full of gum wrappers, this had always been the story of his rise and his steady soul. But this time he was marked from birth, a scar on his forehead and hands that weren’t any better at holding a wand. This time, his grandmother had even more reason to look at him with disappointment when he spent all his childhood looking powerless.
Neville was not the disappeared savior who they whispered about. Halloween was still a celebration of Voldemort’s fall, but Neville was a lucky object, not a small hero, because where there had been a vacuum to fill when it had been Harry Potter, to fill with wonderment and thanks, here Neville toddled down Diagon Alley and held his grandmother’s hand. The whole world knew this boy was probably a squib, with pudgy fingers and a slow stammer, who didn’t learn to read until it was almost time to go to Hogwarts.
When Neville got his Hogwarts letter, the whole wizarding world was very politely surprised. He got told congratulations from strangers in the street, who in different universes would be shaking Harry Potter’s hand and swooning. Neville was far above smart enough to recognize than none of the other children got congratulated for the victory of being asked to attend school.
He asked the Hat for Hufflepuff and it gave him Gryffindor. He hoped they did not expect him to learn how to roar.
This was a Neville scarred. This was a Neville who would still get a rememberall and still forget it in his room two days out of five, who would eat a Weasley treat and turn into a canary, who would take Ginny Weasley to the Yule Ball and not once step on her toes.
This was a Neville who had had long conversations with the garden snakes in his backyard as a child and who had snuck them bits of his breakfast, kept track of which little serpent liked soft boiled eggs and which would dare to try a bit of sausage if he wiggled it properly. When he first got to Hogwarts, lonely, a lion in lamb’s fleece, Neville hid out behind the greenhouses and made friends with the snakes who curled on the warm rocks there.
Unpopular opinion that shouldn’t be unpopular: anti-bullying programs in school that don’t address the root causes of bullying - which are almost invariably larger forms of bigotry and oppression like racism, ableism and homophobia - are completely useless and ultimately futile.
Let’s tell another story where Voldemort, snippets of prophecy in hand, went after the Longbottoms instead of the Potters–
Neville Longbottom didn’t do magic until he was nearly eight (and even then it was just bouncing down the stairs after he had tripped), but his grandmother beamed proudly all the same.
“Used up eight years of it slaying dark wizards,” she told her other society ladies over tea.
But Neville, in any ‘verse, was not a stupid boy. When people praised him for things that weren’t his fault, he knew better than to believe they were looking at him. Overlooking the stammering, pudgy kid in the corner isn’t that much different from seeing the scar and not the boy.
His grandmother smiled at him and Neville gulped, tried to will magic into being, because one day she would expect him to be done recuperating from his toddling heroism.
This was a Neville who stepped onto Platform 9 ¾ with all eyes on him– the Remerberall clutched tight in one sweaty fist, the sleek black cat his uncle had bought him under the other arm. He did not ask for Hufflepuff, even though he wanted to, because he was supposed to be brave.
Let’s tell this story: if Voldemort went after the Longbottoms, then the Lestranges went after the Potters.
Peter still betrayed James and Lily to enemy hands. Sirius still chased him down and laughed when he was arrested on the blasted-apart street. Both of these boys were still raised by families that did not know how to love them. Just the scar exchanged hands.
Except– I wonder if old Dumbledore would have made Harry go to the Dursleys then, or if that particular condemnation was only for the Boy Who Lived, who needed blood protection. Would Harry get to go to Lupin? Or maybe one of the Order members with a more stable income– Andromeda Tonks, maybe, who already had her own little girl to raise, and who despite all the complications did miss having siblings around.
Little Nymphadora, who even then demanded to be called Tonks, turned her hair every color and let baby Harry tug on it. Harry grew up loved, in this world, but he still grew up lost. He still studied his reflection like meeting his eyes might mean meeting someone else’s.
Harry still grew up knowing how to use a telephone, spent Christmases with Muggle grandparents. Andromeda went toe to toe with Dumbledore when she disagreed with him; “If I am to raise this boy, then I am going to. I won’t be your nanny, Albus. I don’t care what half a prophecy this boy once was. I don’t care if you glower. I’m a mother and I am a Black and you can think twice before you think about trying to frighten me.”
Ted told Harry and Tonks the story of Goldilocks (he turned his Metamorphmagus nose to a bear snout whenever appropriate), and Andromeda told them about the Deathly Hollows.
“Which brother is the baby bear?” asked Tonks, not yet old enough for Hogwarts, a literary critic’s light in her eyes. “Which one is just right?”
When Harry went to St. Mungo’s, clinging to Andromeda’s steady hand, tugging on Lupin’s robe, Lily never quite met her son’s eyes. James stole bottle caps and played catch with shaking hands, tried to sneak them out into Harry’s pockets, grin skittering.
“I think he thinks they’re snitches,” Lupin said. Harry was eight before he learned his father and Lupin were childhood friends. He was surprised. He’d always thought Lupin was much much older.
In this world, on the Great Hall stone, there was a boy in the crowd named Ron who would be a Gryffindor, because every Weasley always was; there was a boy named Draco who would be a Slytherin, before the Hat had even barely touched his head.
In this world, there was a boy in the crowd who would be a Hufflepuff, because his big sister was the best thing in the world and Nymphadora Tonks wore yellow on her sleeve.
The basic structure of the sortinghatchats system is that you aren’t just sorted into one House, but into two tiers of Houses: Primary and Secondary. Your Primary House defines WHY you do things. Your Secondary defines HOW. To build this system, we’ve drawn on the Sorting Hat’s songs, general HP canon, extracanonical data (ex. interviews with JKR)… and then extrapolated.
People are complex– for joy or for utility, due to social pressure or careless recreation, people often use the reasoning or methods of Houses that aren’t their Primary or Secondary. We call this “modelling” or “performing” a house and we will explain it in greater detail later. These additional layers help us capture some complexities in characters that we couldn’t get using Primary and Secondary alone. People can vary hugely in how they embody their Houses; in this system, Aang, the heroic pacifist protagonist from Avatar the Last Airbender, shares most of his Houses with HP’s Lord Voldemort.
The way you decide which Houses are yours is not necessarily by looking at what you do, but at what would make you proudest and most content if you were strong enough to do it. Your sorting is what you want to be and what you believe you should do, whether or not you actually live up to it. That’s how people like Peter Pettigrew can end up in Gryffindor.
Your Primary is your why. It’s your motivations, your values, and the way you frame the world around you. It’s how and what you prioritize, and what you weigh most heavily when making your decisions. People often also assume that others share those priorities. A common response to our system is “but you must oversort into Gryffindor/Slytherin/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff–everyone has that type of morality, deep down!”
Gryffindor Primaries trust their moral intuitions and have a need and a drive to live by them. They feel what’s right in their gut, and that matters and guides them. If they don’t listen to and act on that, it feels immoral.
We call Gryffindor morality “felt” but that doesn’t mean they’re all impetuous, emotional hellions. Gryffindors can still be intelligent, deliberate creatures who weigh their decisions and moralities carefully. Reasoning, intellectualizing and debate can be support for a Gryffindor’s felt morality– but those things can never make a fully satisfying morality in themselves. Some things are just wrong, no matter what pretty words you use to explain them.
Ravenclaw Primaries have a constructed system that they test their decisions against before they feel comfortable calling something right. This system might be constructed by them, or it might have been taught to them as children, or it might have been discovered by them some point later in life. But it gives them a way to frame the world and a confidence in their ability to interact with it morally.
Ravenclaws do not lack an intuitive sense of morality or gut feeling about things, but they distrust those instincts and have a need to ignore or to dig down deep and dissect those internal moral impulses. Living within their built moral system is as important to a Ravenclaw as to a Gryffindor; it’s the source of the morality that differs between them–what they trust.
Hufflepuff Primaries value people–all people. They value community, they bond to groups (rather than solely individuals), and they make their decisions off of who is in the most need and who is the most vulnerable and who they can help. They value fairness because every person is a person and feel best when they give everyone that fair chance. Even directly wronged, a Hufflepuff will often give someone a second (or fifth) chance.
This doesn’t mean all Hufflepuffs are inherently tolerant human beings, any more than all Gryffindors are inherently good, moral creatures. Hufflepuffs tend to believe that all people deserve some type of kindness, decency, or consideration from them–but they can define “person” however they want, excluding individuals or even whole groups.
Slytherin Primaries are fiercely loyal to the people they care for most. Slytherin is the place where “you’ll make your real friends”– they prioritize individual loyalties and find their moral core in protecting and caring for the people they are closest to.
Slytherin’s reputation for ambition comes from the visibility of this promotion of the self and their important people– ambition is something you can find in all four Houses; Slytherin’s is just the one that looks most obviously selfish.
Because their morality system of “me and mine first” is fairly narrow in scope, Slytherins often construct a secondary morality system to deal with situations that are not addressed by their loyalty system.
Your Secondary is your how. It’s how you approach the world as a person interacting with it, and how you make your way. It’s how you problem-solve. It’s not necessarily what you’re best at, or even what’s the most useful to you, but about what skills and methods you value as being intrinsic to you. Do you improvise, do you plan? Do you work on something a little bit every day? Do you charge into the fray and tell people exactly what’s on your mind? What do you do? How would you describe the way you meet the world?
Note: the term “Secondary” is not meant to imply that how you do things is any less important than why (the Primary House). It’s simply the way our terminology fell out and we’re too lazy to change it. The importance of motivations v. methods is a personal sliding scale– it’s perfectly valid for a person to identify with their Secondary House over their Primary. (When drawing from canonical sources, we assumed each character likely was in a House that matched to either their Primary or their Secondary. For instance, Harry is in Gryffindor for his heroic Gryffindor Primary, but Ginny Weasley is there for her brash and bold Gryffindor Secondary.)
Gryffindor Secondaries charge. They meet the world head-on and challenge it to do its worst. Gryffindor Secondaries are honest, brash, and bold in pursuit of things they care about. Known for their bravery, it is almost a moral matter to stay true to themselves in any situation that they’re in.
Ravenclaw Secondaries plan. They collect information, they strategize. They have tools. They run hypotheticals and try to plan ahead for things that might come up. They build things (of varying degrees of practicality and actual usefulness) that they can use later– whether that’s an emergency supply pack, a vast knowledge of Renaissance artistic techniques and supplies, or a series of lists and contingency plans. They feel less at home in improvisation and more comfortable planning ahead and taking the time to be prepared.
Hufflepuff Secondaries toil. Their strength comes from their consistency and the integrity of their method. They’re our hard workers. They build habits and systems for themselves and accomplish things by keeping at them. They have a steadiness that can make them the lynchpin (though not usually the leader) of a community. While stereotyped as liking people and being kind (and this version is perhaps a common reality), a Hufflepuff secondary can also easily be a caustic, introverted misanthrope who runs on hard work alone.
Slytherin Secondaries improvise. They are the most adaptive secondary, finding their strength in responding quickly to whatever a situation throws at them. They improvise differently than the Gryffindor Secondary, far more likely to try coming at situations from different angles than to try strong-arming them. They might describe themselves as having different “faces” for different people and different situations, dropping them and being just themselves only when they’re relaxing or feel safe.
But the Journey Continues…
These four basic Primary and Secondary houses are summarized starting places that we use as a basis for further discussion. What are some ways this gets complicated?
Inky the octopus successfully escaped
captivity at a New Zealand aquarium
after squeezing through a small opening
in his tank, sliding across the floor, and
finding a drain that dropped him right
into the Pacific Ocean. Source